As Many Small Venues Struggle, GR’s Skelletones May Return From the Dead
Independent music venues have been hit especially hard during the coronavirus pandemic. One of the first businesses to close, event and music venues have yet to reopen. Some may have to close for good. But one beloved Grand Rapids music venue, closed for more than a decade, may be making a comeback.
Skelletones first opened on South Division Ave. in 2000. An "all ages night-club", the venue sought to be a safe haven for music fans and became the place where where many young musicians and bands got their start.
Original owner Mark Leech has organized a GoFundMe campaign to bring back Skelletones.
Skelletones is and always has been a labor of love. A safe haven for young musicians to express themselves and a home away from home for anyone looking for a place to belong. Skelletones is and always will be all ages, all the time. We are rebuilding our PA system, lighting, electrical, bathrooms, stage and other necessities. We have already set aside the first $5,000 over the past two years of saving. Any help you can offer financially gets us all that much closer to the goal. We're hard at work and we'll see you all soon!
According to the latest update, the campaign has almost reached $3,000 of its $15,000 goal.
An Instagram account for Skelletones was recently created. It bears the description:
Sometimes you have to step away so you can come back to your first love. See you soon. Stay well and stay tuned.
In a post shared August 14 Leech thanks everyone who has donated so far. And it sounds like they are making really great progress!
We are meeting with a building owner Monday to negotiate space, taking into account we can't open until probably early next year due to the obvious. This gives us time to get ready, renovate and rebuild. We hope to announce the location this Monday.
He also says they've already had bands and labels reach out and they are very humbled by the response. Leech continues,
It's not about being known. It's about becoming a safe place for up and coming generations to find their voice, express their hearts and learn to listen to people they may not agree with (that last one might be the hardest).
With that goal in mind, man, I gotta say, it DOES feel like the perfect time for Skelletones to return.