What started off as a hopeful project to get a venue for bands to play in downtown Davis has now been put on hold after the first choice location fell through.
ASUCD Senator Justin Patrizio, in collaboration with KDVS, has been trying to get the ball rolling on an ASUCD Downtown Venue – a project that would give a location to the local underground music scene with ticket prices for students as low as $1-$4.
Other uses for a venue could possibly include a place for the Bike Church to relocate, an off-campus hangout during the day with a student-run coffee shop and soda bar, a dance hall and a place for the Davis People’s Free School, a de-institutionalized independent project.
Things however, have not been looking up after a location on 123 B St. was turned down by the landlord who stopped returning Patrizio’s phone calls.
“This is an idea that is well formed, but nothing can happen till we find a new space,” Patrizio said. “This [project] is a priority in a sense that I feel it would improve student life and it is something that we should do, if we can do it.“
Rent for the location on B Street, which will instead be a hair salon, would have been approximately $4,000 per month. Funding would come from outside resources, making the project self-sustainable, Patrizio said.
“As a senator I recognize that ASUCD doesn’t have a lot of money and that a lot of groups just go to ASUCD for money,” he said. “We’re looking for the cheapest rent downtown and we’re going to look for outside funding such as sponsorship and cater to the will of the sponsors.“
Funding from the Entertainment Council is not an option, said Director Thongxy Phansopha
“We can’t really help out financially because our budget can’t really do that right now,” Phanospha said. “But we can do things like fundraisers or other events to help them out; we are definitely for this, not against it.“
KDVS Events Coordinator Darach Miller has been working closely with Patrizio and agrees that funding for this project should come from outside sources, such as fundraising.
“This project will be student run and economically sustainable, funding itself. That’s the only way it’ll work, and the only scenario we support,” Miller said.
However, an informal meeting at KDVS last Thursday with interested organizers of the project brought different ideas for funding. Kevin Corrigan, junior history major, suggested a campus media ballot initiative, with specific allocations to KDVS while Patrizio suggested a CalPIRG pledge drive-type event.
Attendees expressed various opinions on how to launch the project now that the B Street location is no longer an option and how to accommodate the target audience for the venue.
“I think the bodies that we are catering to are very wary of student government,” said Sharmi Basu, junior political science major and co-publicity organizer for KDVS.
“Having a consistent venue would appeal to more people who aren’t so involved with the political process, like the art and music department and the co-ops. These are all people that kind of don’t care,” Basu said.
Organizers are also considering putting the venue on campus, perhaps in the Basement Gallery of the Art Building. A consensus was finally reached after an hour of deliberation that the project would be best if held off for fall, with “test run” shows in May or June on-campus.
“I think its best to do a good job instead of just throwing it together and if you cook it for enough time, it will come out right,” Corrigan said.
The group will be meeting again this Thursday at KDVS at 11 a.m. to further discuss plans.
ANGELA RUGGIERO can be reached at email@example.com.