“Yes, it’s gone. I hear it’s going to be a shoe factory.”
Erik Reed was proud of the shows he promoted at the Stronghold, the Barrio Logan art collective and music venue that has hosted rap, punk, and rave shows for all-ages fans for two years.
Reed brought shows to the Stronghold under the Pyrate Punx banner, the loose-knit group of do-it-yourselfers who hate pay-to-play venues but love punk rock. The April 26 ten-band fundraiser was the last Stronghold event.
“The lease was up. We were supposed to be out on the 25th, but the show was the 26th. At the end of the night we tore down the stage, packed up the P.A., and moved to the new place.”
That new place is a warehouse near Market and 54th streets. Specifics on the new Stronghold have yet to be worked out, says Angella Gigliotti, who represents the artists’ collective. She says the artists have yet to work out details with Jason Mariner, who spearheaded the music events at Stronghold.
Before he came to the Stronghold, Mariner oversaw the live shows at the Yard, a backyard venue near 17th and Imperial.
“The Yard was there for five years,” says Reed. “It was a perfect spot in skid row. It started out as cinder blocks and pallets and tarps and grew into a full-blown venue with a covered stage and lights and bathrooms. It was the backbone of our scene. It affected a lot of people once it was gone.”
Reed says that while the Pyrate Punx are not as active as they were in 2009 and 2010, “when we would sometimes do three shows a week...we still have a crew of 13 active members who book shows.”
Reed tells the Reader there is a group of kids in North County that run a DIY punk house in Escondido. “It’s called the Safehouse. The neighbors are cool with us having shows as long as no one messes with their horses.”
Reed said that the April 26th Stronghold swan song show was a fundraiser for the Autism Society of America’s San Diego chapter.
“We raised $1055. I’m getting a Publisher’s Clearing House–sized check made so we can give it to them at their headquarters on May 28. I’m inviting any of the bands who played and the crew to come down there with me when we give it to them,” says Reed.
“This was the third year we did this [for the Autism Society]. The first year we gave them $505. Last year it was $750.”