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An Open Letter To Rochester: We Need More Music Venues

Dear Rochester,

Can I be honest for a second? I’m really not sure where (except for Mayo Civic Center) we can host live entertainment at this point.

Kim David/Townsquare Media
Kim David/Townsquare Media

I know I’ve only been here since August of 2016, but it really makes me sad to see places like the Wicked Moose go.

In size, it was a happy medium between the Civic Center and your bar you frequent just down the street.

This brings me to my next question; if Mayo Civic Center can support this entertainment, who will support acts deemed “smaller”? I’m sincerely asking, because if this place exists I suppose I’m not familiar with it yet. To me, the Wicked Moose was a solid home for acts like that.

“Sad” is my go-to word here, because I can’t back this up with facts, or statistics – I can only support this with emotion and eyewitness accounts.

I was thrilled to witness three shows at the Wicked Moose between August and it’s closing almost two weeks ago. What made me and (I imagine) others who attended those shows happy, was the sense of community we created and solidified. EVERYONE in that room seemed to have a connection with someone else standing nearby! Including me, who was meeting a lot of you for the first time!

On the night of the last rock show at the Wicked Moose, I witnessed people in a celebratory mood more than ready to give it an appropriate send off, for the sake of creating more awesome memories.

How many memories did you make at that bar? How many days was the night’s previous show “water cooler talk” at the office the next day? Where else can we go for this?

If the city needs more affordable housing (it does), and that’s what is being built anymore, isn’t having places to house entertainment just as important to keep new residents interested?

If we can come up with solutions, I think we’d find a greater investment in Rochester as a whole. My solution: let’s start from scratch and create a new venue that can accommodate this. Or, expand a smaller bar that already exists?

What do you think we can do?

Stephen Maturen
Stephen Maturen

The Best of Z-Rock: The Rock of Rochester

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