The Red Poppy Art House needs your support tomorrow

First of all, the Red Poppy on 23rd and Folsom is one of my favorite places to see shows in the city. There are not a lot of venues where you can recline on a bed of fluffy pillows while taking in the sounds of a local musician’s electro-jazz interpretations of Radiohead or a modern Turkish and Balkan folk ensemble. Noisy, crowded 500-seat rock shows with $6 beers served out of plastic cups are swell, but these shows are small, intimate, and raw. The Poppy’s calendar is diverse and always interesting. The audience is always enthusiastic and engaged. The shows wrap up at 10pm so they don’t tie up your night.

On top of all this, they pay musicians really well… like 70% of the door well. As a musician, I have consistently made more from a performance at the Red Poppy than at any other music venue in the city and had a better time performing for the smaller and more enthusiastic crowds there. At those rates, musicians could, I don’t know, maybe make a living doing their good work. It makes you wonder: why aren’t there more places like this?

Last year, the city of San Francisco passed legislation for Limited Live Performance Permit which allows small venues to host live performances for a one time fee of $385, without paying the exorbitant cabaret license that is meant for larger concert halls, which costs in the thousands. The Red Poppy is applying for this permit and there will be a hearing about it tomorrow at City Hall. This hearing will be a large factor in determining whether or not they will be able to continue their programming.

The staff expects some opposition from the neighbors, but request that supporters can be respectful and non-combative about their concerns. So if you’re a fan of the Poppy, like I am, consider showing your support at City Hall tomorrow at 5:30pm. There will be a debrief at the Red Poppy 3-4pm. More details on facebook.

11 Responses to “The Red Poppy Art House needs your support tomorrow”

  1. Teotwawki Jones says:

    If you are pissing off your neighbors, you don’t need help, you need to get your shit together.

    If you are a live music venue that’s pissing off your neighbors, its probably because you are a noise-fest and fixing that requires little more than properly outfitting your space to contain noise.

    I mean really people, grow the fuck up.

  2. Vic Wong says:

    Valid point, but soundproofing isn’t just about stuffing pillows against a wall. It costs tens of thousands to do right. That’s a bit much to ask of a small volunteer-run non-profit institution in a residential building converted into storefront right now. They’re working on it, in any case.

    Neighbors in the San Francisco have historically had disputes with local businesses. That’s the way it goes. Whether or not it’s worth a neighbor’s annoyance to have something unique and artistic for everyone else in the neighborhood isn’t for me to say. But speaking from experience as someone who lived above the rickshaw stop for 2 years. I’d take small acoustic concerts that end at 10pm over thumping club music til 2am followed by drunks pouring into the street any damn day.

  3. J-Lub says:

    Kickstarter? Everyone’s doin’ it!

  4. MIke says:

    The Red Poppy rules. One of my favorite five places in the city.

  5. Neotwatski Smith says:

    What Vic AND J-Lub said.

  6. Perhaps the Red poppy rules and it takes damn good care of their musicians,and its volunteers running it, and blah to the blah. But why shit on your own back yard? Red Poppy should be concerned about building relationships with the neighbors to end this dispute. But if Red Poppy is ready for a battle the neighbors will battle. That’s just too bad for the venue, but it sounds like they do not care about their neighbors complaining. Well, sorry to say Red Poppy, you are gonna have to come out the pockets or like we say in the city, BOUNCE!

  7. Jules says:

    Attended the meeting tonight. The permit was approved conditional upon the Poppy enforcing smoking ordinances outside and giving a phone number to the neighbor so the neighbor can complain to whomever is in charge on any given evening.

    My assessment was that the neighbors are oversensitive. Their complaints are things that happen on my street two blocks away where there are no art houses, etc. They were bitching about smoking and drinking on the sidewalk. Um, you live in the Mission, there’s drinking and smoking on every sidewalk. The drunks around my place get into screaming matches about drug deals at 3 am. I’d take live jazz till 10pm over my homeless meth addict any day.

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