DIY spaces are a fickle thing, and if you’re lucky enough to live in a city that has them, you surely know that they’re often the foundation of an inclusive, all ages, up and coming, and healthy music and arts scene, and should be cherished and protected. While not as flush with DIY spots as some cities, Nashville has always maintained a healthy scene in that regard, though many of the more visible spaces (i.e., the ones a little more legit than the “ask a punk” basements and living rooms that still flourish) took a hit, when, after the tragic events of Oakland’s Ghost Ship fire at the end of 2016, nationwide crackdowns, including right here in Music City, forced many spaces not up to adequate codes and safety standards to close.
Drkmttr, which began its life in the Chestnut Hill area a few years back, before finding a more show-friendly setup in a former barbershop in The Nations in 2016, managed not only to emerge as one of Music City’s most vibrant DIY spaces, but also reopened the quickest, after a successful GoFundMe early last year allowed them to make the upgrades and improvements necessary to avoid stricter enforcements. Since then, they’ve continued to play host to a variety of local and national talent, supported entirely by volunteers and members of the DIY community.
Running a space like Drkmttr, though invaluable to the scene, requires endless amounts of blood, sweat, and tears, so it is not entirely surprising, though still very sad, that the venue’s organizers have opted not to renew the lease for their current home at 4003 Indiana Ave. Come March 1, Drkmttr, in its current form, will be no more, and the last show planned will reportedly be Feb. 23 (from the looks of their calendar, a few shows into March have already found new homes).
Fortunately, the folks at Drkmttr aren’t planning on simply throwing in the towel. According to a closing statement, they’re already “scouting locations and planning a new and evolved Drkmttr,” as they “reevaluate what it takes to be an effective all ages DIY venue in 2018 Nashville.” Here’s hoping what comes next carries the same DIY spirit as the previous two locations, even if it has to follow the route of a more traditional venue space in order to better maintain sustain financially in an increasingly saturated music market and expansive real estate market. Rooms like Drkmttr are the bedrock of our artistic community, and we have endless respect for the people who dedicate so much to keeping them running.
Read Drkmttr’s full statement below:
DIY has evolved so much over the years. As Nashville continues to grow, we have to adjust to the changes being made.
Sometimes this means starting over or moving on.
That being said, Drkmttr at 4003 Indiana Ave will no longer be a functioning space as of March 1st.
Our lease is up, and we are choosing to reevaluate what it takes to be an effective all ages DIY venue in 2018 Nashville.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us at this location. We’ve spent so many great nights reveling in this lively music scene, making friends and spreading good vibes!
From here we are scouting locations and planning a new and evolved Drkmttr.
We still have some shows left in February, the last show being on February 23rd! Join us as we toast to the future!
Stay tuned for updates. Peace and love!
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