Silver Lake’s long-running music venue the Satellite is ending performances and DJ nights. Owner Jeff Wolfram announced the news via Facebook that the space would reopen as a restaurant because they could “no longer afford to wait for the day we will be allowed to have shows again.” The Satellite lost 75 percent of their clientele after the recent pandemic shutdowns, according to LA Magazine. Wolfram said they are currently removing the stage and will completely redesign the interior areas for dining.
The Wolfram family has owned the building since the 1960s, which went through several variations before settling into its current live-music iteration. Before it was the Satellite, the venue was called Spaceland and run by entrepreneur Mitchell Frank, which hosted a wide variety of musicians since its opening in 1995. Everyone from Beck to Elliot Smith graced the stage in the 90s, and throughout the 2000s Spaceland became a destination to see bands before they broke. Music industry insiders would often populate the audience while up-and-coming acts could experiment musically on multi-date residencies. As part of Los Angeles’ local music ecosystem, Spaceland was a launchpad for careers.
“While we aren’t tied to any single venue, this one deeply hurts,” DJ crew Dance Yourself said via Facebook. “We’ve lost our home.”
Other venues are keeping a watchful eye to this news, as countless music rooms across Los Angeles — and the country — are struggling to stay afloat. The National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) is busy lobbying Congress for funds but time is not on their side. Recently, music industry players like Spotify, YouTube, Amazon Music and others all came together in support of financial relief for the music industry — pushing for the RESTART Act to take effect and to receive bipartisan support.
Read Wolfram’s statement below:
“To all of the Satellite fans out there, I am sorry to say that we will no longer be doing live shows or dance parties. We would like to thank you for all the support you have shows us over the years.
We shut our doors March 12 after the bands started canceling shows due to the corona virus and the Government shutting down the bars and nightclubs just a few days later. It has really hit us hard. We can no longer afford to wait for the day we will be allowed to have shows again. If we do that, we will not have the money to continue and will be forced to close forever.
We are currently removing the stage and redesigning the club to be more of a place to get good quality drinks and food. We will be re-opening the kitchen and doing a complete redesign. Due to the lack of funds, this will not happen quickly. We will be opening in the parking lot for food and drinks as soon as we have the kitchen re-opened or the government lets us hire a food truck. We hope you will still support us during these tough times.
It personally has been an amazing 25 years of live music and dance parties. I will miss those days but it is time for us to move on.
I would hope that you will support groups like NIVA. They are trying to raise support in Congress and the Senate to help out all the Independent clubs in the US so they do not have to change format like we did or just close the doors for ever. Go to their site and show your support so we can start going to shows again!”