After Thee Oh Sees’ indefinite hiatus, here’s our second piece of shitty end-of-an-era indie rock news this morning: The Brooklyn DIY venue 285 Kent, an important center for underground music in New York, may be closing down. After last night’s Maria Minerva/Co La/Silk Rhodes show, the venue has no plans for any further events, and rumor has it that this is the end.

As Gothamist points out, venue booker Ric Leichtung tweeted yesterday, “Beyond tonight, we have not announced any other events at 285 Kent, though there may be others in the future.” The venue’s lease is up, and New York landlords are notoriously inhospitable to underground music spaces.

If this is the end for 285 Kent, the spot has already carved out a place in history, serving as a locus, for a few years, of energy within the city’s music scene. We’ll remember it as the place where Frank Ocean moshed to Trash Talk, or where A$AP Rocky and Grimes shared a stage, or where Oneohtrix Point Never and Twin Sister and John Maus played Stereogum’s 2011 CMJ showcase. As legacies go, that’s not bad.

[Photo by Alex Reside @ 285 Kent]

Comments (10)
  1. and Real Estate’s live record!

  2. Wasn’t Todd P a founder of this venue? He’s got that Trans Pecos place open now, so it’s like as one door literally closes, another opens…

  3. Has anyone here actually BEEN to 285 Kent? The place is garbage. Really terrible sound system, terrible lights, they oversell concerts so it gets way too packed, just all around probably my least favorite venue in New York. I’m sure there is a history to the place and all, but I’ve only had shitty experiences.

    • According to my tweet feed, there are people who actually enjoyed the fact that it was a dumpy DIY establishment with all of its dirty toilets overflowing and lack of air conditioning. I dunno. To each their own, I suppose…

      As someone who lives in suburbia where there’s maybe one reliable DIY venue that’s over 30 minutes away (and even then, it’s not like there’s a parade of shows being put on there) with a couple of other independent venues that cater mostly to an older folk-listening demographic, I look at news as this as a “Oh well… You’ve got three dozen other spots who’ll book those bands seven days a week, right?” It’s never great when an all-ages venue is closing shop, though.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I’m down for some grime and trashiness at my concert venues, that isn’t really my concern. My main complaint is just how colossally shitty the sound system is. Other people I know who have been there say the same thing, the sound quality is just piss poor to the point that it makes going to a concert less enjoyable.

        I saw The Field there this past October and I couldn’t even recognize some of the songs at first, songs I have heard hundred of times, because of how awful the sound was. And it’s not The Field, because I saw him at a different, equally tiny venue a few years ago and he killed it. They also wouldn’t let him do an encore, as he left the stage after the main set and then came back a few minutes later and started getting ready to play another song and they turned on the lights and started playing music over the loudspeakers to get him off the stage. He looked kinda stumped, then just walked off. Fuck that.

        I’m all for DIY venues and understand the value of these smaller places in the context of the whole local music scenes and all. I wouldn’t just come on here and shit on a venue just because it isn’t as nice as Carnegie Hall, or even Bowery Ballroom or something. My problem is acting like this is the fucking CBGB’s shutting down, when everyone I know who has been to 285 Kent has had a negative experience.

    • I haven’t been but this is exactly what I’ve heard from my friends in Brooklyn. Doesn’t sound like a huge loss, history aside.

  4. Is this the one next door to glasslands? Or that big one whose entrance isn’t actually on Kent?
    The one with the shitty little bar area behind the stage?

    My point being that while unfortunate to lose a venue, at least there are plenty of options over there.

  5. yes, it is right next door to the much-superior Glasslands.

    bummer when a place closes but honestly 285 wasn’t all that great. it was nice that Ric put his personal phone number in their emails so you can text him during a summer show and ask to turn the fucking A/C on tho.

  6. Something is wrong with that man’s ear!

  7. Gotta make room for the Kent Ave. Brother Jimmy’s.

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