I would like to see the artistic/music communities of Huntsville work together to open an All-Ages DIY Venue space IN Huntsville. While Huntsville has talented musicians, the venue spaces available for performances are often limited to bars or are incredibly expensive/exclusive to get in. This prevents young musicians from having a space to perform and contributes to a culture of creative young people wanting to leave Huntsville as soon as they turn 18. In addition, an all-ages venue space could help cultivate a local music scene in alternative genres, not just “bar rock” i.e. cover bands, etc., encouraging more people to participate in the local music scene. Currently, young Huntsvillians have to travel to Florence or Decatur to have a space to perform or attend local shows that are all-ages inclusive—which to me is disappointing considering Huntsville is Alabama’s second largest city.
All-ages venues are typically drug and alcohol-free and do not require elaborate stages or sound systems—allowing for lower costs to maintain and peace of mind. They are simply a safe-space for musicians to perform and a drug and alcohol-free environment for youth to attend shows. Also, they provide a space for art shows and other creative gatherings to occur when music performances are not occurring.
I recently read an article from AL.com that Huntsville city planners want to invest in music venues in order to create a more conducive environment to attract young people to the city (to compete with Nashville and Austin). While we can hire advertising/architecture firms to “hipsterize” our city to an extent, local artistic culture starts with grassroots movements, and tapping into our greatest resource, the creativity of our young people that actually live here, could build Huntsville’s creative culture we’re seeking.
Here’s an example of an elaborate DIY Space in Seattle for reference: https://theveraproject.org/about/
In Birmingham: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Firehouse/108086539252758