Monday, November 11, 2013
All ages venue Tucson Live Music Space will be closing its doors at the end of this year, with its last scheduled show taking place on Saturday, December 21st. TLMS has been hosting shows for the past 14 months in a converted house located at 125 West Ventura Street, near Grant and Oracle Roads.
As with most music venues without a liquor license, revenue is generated from door entry prices, which at TLMS have never exceeded $6. However, with its lack of proximity to 4th Avenue and downtown, many of its shows have been sparsely attended. TLMS has also been run in a manner similar to a co-op, with volunteers. All of the money earned has gone towards rent for the property, sound equipment, and paying touring acts for their performances.
Today, Billy Brooks, a principle figure in TLMS’ existence and demise, stated on the venue’s official Facebook page:
You may or may not have heard already but TLMS will be closing at the end of the year. After thinking long and hard I came to the conclusion that this was the best thing for myself personally and financially. I would be lying if I said I enjoyed every show, but even the ones I didn't enjoy meant something positive to someone and that was truly enough. We had over 200 bands play their music in our little room and we were able to put thousands of dollars in touring band's gas tanks. I personally made hundreds of friends and at the end of the day that's what it's all about to me. It was a fun ride, I hope some of you enjoyed it too. Last show is December 21st, hope to see you there.
For this article, he added:
Officially, it really comes down to money. We don't get consistent income mostly due to the fact that we don't sell anything. If we were a bar or even a restaurant we would probably make 'other money' and be able to continue. Business costs and alternative location costs make it really hard to make a sustainable all ages space and since I go to school full time and have a low paying part time job I can't support myself and grow TLMS. For a long time I haven't been doing as well as I could for myself because I wanted TLMS to succeed so badly. In reality, it is a full time job to do it right and I don't have the time or money to do it right. All that combined with a void of regular support and some of my volunteers moving onto other things it's just time (to close). I would rather be able to have a last show and say goodbye than to just say we're never coming back. TLMS never became the full version of my daydreams but to some people it was special and that's the silver lining. Hopefully someone holds it as near and dear to their hearts as people do with the Living Room or Skrappy's on Broadway. I have an answer of what I would do with a winning lottery ticket though.
TLMS has had a great run, making live music available to be performed and played by anybody. Just two months ago, the space was awarded the Tucson Weekly Best of Tucson Staff Pick for Best Concert Venue (read it here). On a personal note, I’ve never seen a bad show there, and I will miss it greatly. Our city owes a debt of gratitude to Brooks, Oscar Hernandez, and the many other volunteers that have made TLMS a fantastic place to see shows and build a community.