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Revive the Night: The Grassroots Effort Save SF’s Dancefloors

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By Bailey Greenwood

In the past 8 months, we’ve witnessed the crumbling of an industry that employed millions of people around the United States, and with no end in sight, an industry that will take years to rebuild.

Revive the Night is a is a 3-day virtual festival taking place December 4-6 that will put a spotlight on 11 venues, their uniqueness, their history, and the richness of talent and music they bring to their local community. Participating venues include: 1015 Folsom, F8, Audio, Gray Area, Halcyon, Monarch, Public Works, The Great Northern, The Stud, Underground SF, and Vinyl Dreams. These venues represent the diversity of San Francisco’s people and its eclectic musical flavor.

Music and live events won’t return until it’s safe, and with that we are stuck in limbo – hoping and waiting. Unfortunately it’s hard for people outside of the industry to understand the long-term detrimental costs of what this means. Those of us who have spent years of our lives dedicated to the music industry are praying for a miracle. Independently owned venues who were the first to shut, have been hit the hardest, and many fear the longer this continues to go on, they may never reopen. Sadly, this has already begun in major cities across the US where venues can no longer afford to stay closed. This pandemic will continue to devastate these local businesses and sacrifice our culture, until then we need to ensure these venues secure funding.

Monarch

Why should we care about saving these spaces?

Independently owned venues function as the backbone of the music industry giving artists, performers, and promoters a chance when no one else will. This is where artists learn their craft and grow with their fans. This is where promoters connect their ambitious visions with eager audiences. This is where enviable careers begin. Without these spaces, what would the future of the music industry even look like?

The Revive the Night fundraiser is a product of San Francisco’s strong and driven community coming together to help secure a future for our scene.

Each venue will feature 3-4 hours of content, which collectively includes DJs – both headliners and local favorites, comedy, interviews, drag shows, talk shows, and visual designs to highlight their specific venue and contributions to the underground scene.

Additional local performers will be featured in a pre-party event on Thursday, December 3, and each night of the festival in an after-hours stream. All proceeds will benefit participating venues. We are counting on San Francisco’s nightlifers to show up strong and show their support for the beloved venues that have gifted them their best dancefloor memories.

1015 Folsom. Photo by @theholymountain

Back in August, I wrote a social media post asking our community to start collaborating on how to support independent venues through the pandemic. Three months of weekly zoom calls later, Revive the Night was born. The fundraiser is being produced by a coalition of eight volunteers from the music industry – ranging from event producers to agents to artists, all who care deeply about the venues they’ve worked with and for over the years. The core production team includes: myself (Booking Agent), Jimmy Bee (DJ/ Event Producer), Joe Fromer (DJ/Promoter), Cassidy Martin (DJ) , Regan Parrish (DJ/Promoter), Dor Wand (Fault Radio founder), and Melissa Yeung (Event Producer).

This project is a labor of love for our team. It’s a reminder of San Francisco’s determination to unify and support each other when faced with adversity. For many of us, a sense of normalcy has returned from planning and organizing the event. It’s given people like me, whose sense of purpose was shattered over the last eight months, a reminder that our work was important. People are missing their dancefloors and we hope for one weekend, we can transport them back to some of their favorite venues, and compel viewers to get involved in saving our scene, not just now, but for as long as it takes to reopen.

Learn more about Revive the Night right here.

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