Students drawn to small venues

By Alex Cragun, Staff Writer

Students such as freshman Alex Gilvarry enjoy local venues such as Kilby Court because of the cheaper prices and intimacy they offer over other music hot spots.

“It’s more about having fun and playing the music,” Gilvarry said. “It’s more personal.”

Trever Hadley, bass player for local band Band of Annuals believes Utah is a unique place for music and venues.

“Shows start late in Salt Lake City,” Hadley said. “We tend to be louder than other cities.”

Hadley said this might be because he is in a local band, making people more enthusiastic at his Salt Lake City shows. He said he believes the best places to play are venues in which the audience has close contact with the band.

“What makes us different from places like L.A. is they do shows with six bands, which makes it a (mess),” Hadley said, “(In L.A.), people go to see one band and leave.”

Hadley hopes one day Utah becomes a place where people look to find good music, like Austin, Texas or Seattle.

However, students who want to see a band during Spring Break don’t have as many choices as before.

In the past decade, several all-age venues have closed around the Salt Lake Valley.

Danny Maland, operator of the venue New Song Underground, said Utah is a difficult place to maintain an all-ages venue. The lack of the general population attending shows is the reason why most close, he said.

“Everywhere else, people have something else to come for, booze or food,” Maland said. “We focus on the music, which draws only a small group to come out.”

Lance Saunders, co-owner of music venues Kilby Court and the Urban Lounge, said the venues and entertainment business is difficult, but worth it.

Saunders bought Kilby Court, which as been around since 1999, in 2008. Originally a place to practice, it eventually evolved into a business. Saunders says that even though people are losing jobs, his venues are doing well.

“If one venue is making more money, we throw it in to another,” Saunders said. “(Kilby Court) is not just a business. Salt Lake City wouldn’t be the same without it.”

Billy Kurek, a sophomore in English who is a musician, prefers to play venues rather than attend shows. Kurek said Utah surprisingly has a decent music scene, citing places like Kilby Court and The Avalon. Kurek said that In the Venue is a good place to play, but prefers it when it was one location.

“The sound is different since they split it in two,” Kurek said.

Scott Rumple, a junior in sociology and friend of Kurek, disagrees.

“In the Venue is great, I love it,” he said.

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