Punk rock saved the Minutemen—but will it save the Cobalt?

It seems one of Vancouver’s most prized punk, metal and extreme music venues is facing threats of closure, according to a growing Facebook group titled Keep the Cobalt Alive. More than 3,500 people have joined to ensure the beloved hardcore bar stays open.

Agent Orange plays February 22, 2009 at the Cobalt. Photo courtesy of Avenida Once.

Agent Orange plays February 22, 2009 at the Cobalt.

Reasons for the impending closure remain unclear. The Facebook group’s administrators have cited both noise complaints and Olympic politics as possible factors. While the Cobalt has thrived complaint-free for over nine years, Vancouver Police responded to two separate incidents of noise just last weekend.

On Wednesday, February 25th, the following update was posted by the venue’s vociferous concert promoter, Wendy Churcheen (known among Cobalt regulars as Wendythirteen):

“I WONDER WHO IN THE CONDO ACROSS THE STREET COULD POSSIBLY HEAR A SMALL VOCAL P.A. OVER TRAFFIC ON MAIN ST AND THE VIADUCT…I SMELL BULLSHIT….HERE WE GO…

WE HAD THE COPS THERE SUNDAY FOR THE AGENT ORANGE SHOW…OK…DOOR OPEN …BIG PA….MAYBE…..

BUT AFTER 9 YEARS WITH NO COMPLAINTS…5 OF THOSE WITH THE CONDO EXISTING…HMMMMM

AND NOW TONITE…SMALL VOCAL PA….COPS AGAIN….ANOTHER NOISE COMPLAINT….IS THIS HOW IT STARTS?

ARRRGGHHH…..THIS IS BULLSHIT…2 COMPLAINTS IN 3 NIGHTS…AFTER 9 YEARS OF NONE….

I’LL KEEP YOU POSTED AS THE SHIT UNFOLDS….”

The Cobalt is the home of both Monday Night Khaos and Fake Jazz Wednesdays—two weekly concert features that support local punk and experimental bands. Fans of the bar (located at Main and Prior, attached to the Cobalt Motor Hotel) have named it Vancouver’s “last true haven of the underground.”

A benefit concert is likely to be held to raise money for the venue. As of yet, no date has been selected.

Photo courtesy of Avenida Once.

One response to “Punk rock saved the Minutemen—but will it save the Cobalt?

  1. hey, I’m the guy who started the group.
    any more questions, just ask me

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