Help Shea Meet Their Kickstarter Goal
Starting in January 2017, Shea Stadium began receiving a series of violations related to the legal use, zoning and licensing of our building. While there were no vacate orders given and our building was not condemned or deemed unsafe, shows were interrupted, shut down and rescheduled.
We reached out to owners at Shea who stated that, “we chose to close preemptively to prevent racking up more expensive fines and risking more serious repercussions, we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday 3/22 with a goal of raising $50,000 to go towards complete legalization, with the proceeds helping to pay for renovations needed to pass inspections by the Dept of Buildings, FDNY & Dept of Health, architect and legal fees, fire safety training, and health & bar permits.”
This is great news for locals! Shea’s one of the last institutions of an entire generation of DIY music venues. Over the years, countless spaces like theirs, Don Pedro this week, and the growing amount we have covered here, have had to shut down because of circumstances beyond their control, and the number of small independent venues in NYC is dwindling.
When a space closes, musicians don’t just lose a place to play. Every space is the focal point of an entire ecosystem of artists that provide support & fosters creative action in the world. As we stare down the powerful forces that stand between us and full legalization, we know we owe it to the community to continue despite a long road ahead.
About this project
Shea is one of the last institutions of an entire generation of DIY music venues in New York City. Now, it’s existence is under threat from a variety of governmental & political factors. We want to make Shea a completely legal, 100% permitted venue to protect its future. If you believe in the value of DIY music spaces in NYC, join us to make this a reality.
What Is Shea Stadium?
“Shea Stadium is an all ages music venue in NYC dedicated to recording & documenting the ever evolving artistic landscape of the city. The idea is simple – we invite artists to come play, record them, and pay them for the service.
When we first opened Shea Stadium in 2009 we never expected the space would become a full-time venue. In fact, Shea was originally intended to act mainly as a recording studio but to keep the lights on, we began throwing more shows to subsidize our rent. Over the years our calendar grew, but we never stopped recording.
Over the years Shea’s amassed an archive of live music of over 10,000 tracks from nearly 1,000 bands, documenting an entire era in New York City’s independent music scene. Since 2011, we’ve been streaming highlights and full performances ad-free on our website and have always given artists free access and full rights to their recordings to release and profit from them as they see fit.”
But it’s never just been about the people on the stage — Shea’s run by an ever-growing network of volunteers, interns and band members. When we started nearly a decade ago, we had no real or previous experience in running a venue or booking shows. We were armed only with a few brooms, a PA system, and an intense passion for the music being made in our city and other DIY networks around the world. We try to pass the empowerment we found in learning through doing down through our interns, who have been vital in shaping the identity of our space, and who have put the knowledge they’ve gained to work towards accomplishing their goals in NYC and beyond.
For more info on Shea’s history & the archives:
The New Yorker – “Long Live Shea Stadium”
New York Times – “Playing at Shea, Not The Mets”
Village Voice – “One Night At Shea Stadium”
NPR – “10 Recordings You Should Hear from Shea Stadium’s Vault”
Reopening a More Sustainable Shea
“We want to make Shea a completely legal, 100% permitted venue to protect its future.”
Starting in January 2017 Shea began receiving a series of violations related to the legal use, zoning and licensing of our building. Some shows were interrupted, some were shut down and as a result, many were moved to other venues. There were no vacate orders given and our building was not condemned or deemed unsafe; we chose to shut down preemptively to prevent racking up more expensive fines and risking more serious repercussions.
A variety of governmental & political factors threaten the existence of spaces like Shea. We had always treated the possibility of a shutdown as inevitable but as we stare down the insanely powerful forces that stand between us and full legalization, we now know we owe it to the community to continue despite a long road ahead.
Over the past eight years Shea’s become a space where people of all ages can go and know that they will be able to see their favorite artists not on a pedestal or behind barriers, but face to face where real connections are made. These connections change lives and open up doors of possibility to young people and aspiring artists in this city.
What’s the Plan?
So you may be asking yourself “if it was going so well, why does Shea need my help?”
It’s because since day one we’ve put the artists first. For years, we’ve operated at the lowest possible overhead in order to maximize profits, not for ourselves but for the struggling musicians, artists, and comedians who come through our doors.
Your generosity will bring back Shea better than ever. We’ve always sought to reflect what this community expects and needs from a space, and operating above board means we can have higher visibility and open up to new types of programming, including free daytime events & workshops to serve you better. Once we meet our goal we can begin work to open the space to the public later this year.
Raising these funds will help us make the necessary renovations and acquire all the necessary permits to make Shea more sustainable.
You’d help Shea pay for:
- renovations to pass inspection by the Dept of Buildings, FDNY & Dept of Health ($20,000)
- architect fees for drafting plans & filing permits ($13,000)
- fire safety training ($1,000)
- health & bar permits ($7,000)
- legal fees ($14,000)
“Shea needs your help and we have no doubt the community will do what it does best: when one of us falls, we pick each other up. The show must go on, and it will with your help. Donate now and do your part in preserving all ages community spaces in NYC.”
Adam, Nora, Luke & the Shea Stadium Family