Satellite Ballroom

May 25th, 2008 · 1 Comment · By

Sorry about the total lack of blogging yesterday; I spent all weekend attempting to recover from food poisoning in time to DJ a wedding reception.

Anyhow, I’m sad to say that the Satellite Ballroom is no more. John Ruscher had a nice article on the place over at his C-Ville Weekly column this week, and the Satellite Unite! e-mail list had this to say:

Thank you, everyone. Your letters and calls to Terry Vassalos, Coran Capshaw and local media outlets made a real impact and brought attention to how important the Satellite Ballroom is to our community and what a bad decision it is to replace it with a CVS. Unfortunately, Terry Vassalos has chosen to pad his bank account at the expense of the Charlottesville community. He has refused to even acknowledge that he has a choice in the matter, citing the fact that he is a ‘businessman’ as a defense of his decision. If every landowner in Charlottesville starts acting like this, we’ll be awash in corporate chain stores that suck money away from our community and don’t care about the concerns of local citizens. But thanks to your work we’ve made it clear that anyone trying to replace important cultural and community resources in Charlottesville with unwanted chain-stores will meet stiff opposition and public scrutiny. […] Coran Capshaw is still looking for a replacement space for the Satellite but it doesn’t appear that anything will open before the Fall. If nothing else, his renovated Jefferson will take up the yoke when it reopens in a year or so. It is sad to see the Satellite go, especially for something as unnecessary as a CVS, but other venues will surely come soon as Charlottesville has so many serious music-lovers like yourselves.

Personally, I’m going to miss the Ballroom, and I find it increasingly frustrating that Charlottesville music venues continue to decline in both diversity and number. I’m not going to get all preachy and sentimental and say that the Satellite Ballroom was the best music venue in the entire world; in fact, I myself often had a long list of minor complaints about the place; but while it was here, the Satellite Ballroom provided an incomparable service for Charlottesville music enthusiasts, and it definitely feels like a big piece of the Charlottesville Music Community is gone along with the venue. I’m really sad to see it go, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped to make that place what it was.

They brought so many touring bands to town that I never thought I would see play in Charlottesville: Acid Mothers Temple, Yo La Tengo, Fuck Buttons, Girl Talk, Slick Rick, Melt-Banana, Man Man, and World’s End Girlfriend were some of the bands I was lucky enough to see there. Even the shows I had to miss were impressive: Animal Collective, Mogwai, Cat Power, Chuck Brown, Bishop Allen, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Bonde do Role, Sir Richard Bishop, the Silver Jews, High on Fire, Caribou and Negativland all played there at some point over the past 4 years. They also provided significant exposure for great local acts like Jim Waive, Sarah White, Red Wizard, Mass Sabbath, Corndawg, the Extraordinaires, Doofgoblin, Ultra Dolphins, Cataract Camp, Truman Sparks, and Ostinato.

So thanks again to everyone at the Satellite Ballroom for all their hard work, and to everyone who took an interest in saving the place. I’m gonna miss it.

Tags: feature · news

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 david // May 31, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    a shame. last summer negativeland and boris. great reason to visit c’ville. r.i.p.