Another one bites the dust.
We hate to say it, but in case you haven’t already heard, the short-lived Midtown music venue Witch Room is set to close its doors for good at the end of December. If you’re keeping track (we sure are!) this is the fourth Sacramento venue to shut down in the last year. First Luigi’s Slice and Fungarden, then Marilyn’s on K, then Assembly Music Hall, now Witch Room. In a statement released by Witch Room co-founder Olivia Coelho, she said, “The simple fact is that we were not able to sustain enough revenue to cover our expenses and provide compensation to the founders that was sufficient to justify our efforts.” She went on to point out that they knew what they were doing (read: “fostering creativity”) was risky and difficult, but that they wanted to give it a good 10-month shot to see what happened. She also pointed out that she and Witch Room’s co-founders all “expect to maintain our intense interest in the cultural life of this city that we love, and hope to contribute to it in the future.”
It was rumored that Eric Rushing and Bret Bair, owners of Ace of Spades and Goldfield, had shown interest in purchasing Witch Room and keeping it a live music venue, but when we hit them up Rushing told us that they “walked away from the deal.” (More on Rushing and Bair’s attempts to purchase a new venue will be in our next issue!)
While we are incredibly sad to see Witch Room close (we’ve been to more than a few awesome shows there this year and have done quite a bit of editorial coverage on artists performing there), we are also excited to see that they will be going out in style with a super-rad two-day local music free-for-all (literally, it’s free) called “Sac Go Home Fest” on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014 and Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. Organizer Drew Walker (also Witch Room’s beloved sound guy and talented local musician) told Submerge that Sac Go Home Fest is “purely for the community,” and that “it’s gonna be all locals who were down to play for free to celebrate the place!” As of press time Walker had confirmed 20-plus solid locals for the weekend-long shindig. On Saturday, you’ve got bands such as Pregnant, Lite Brite, PETS, Removed, Carson McWhirter/Nick Reinhart Duo, Cove, Honyock, Musical Charis and a couple others. On Sunday, Walker has lined up Doofy Doo (his own project), along with Fine Steps, Appetite, Dad?, Dog Party, The Kelps, Squidz, an open jam with Instagon and much more. “Come help the WR staff, friends, fans and haters celebrate both the life and death of Sac’s coolest shortest lived venue,” Walker wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “Buy all of our beer and make us an offer on the refrigerators too. And then, Sacramento, go home.”