Sometimes the most important thing you can do is to speak up -- and it looks like the San Diego music community made its voice heard: In a major operational reversal, Lestat's West Music Venue has announced that it will continue to host live music.
The beloved all-ages venue (located at 3343 Adams Ave.) has provided a stage to countless singer-songwriters, bands, and other forms of entertainment over the past 12 years but as we reported in early March, Lestat's West announced that it would cease its live-music operations. On March 5, a Lestat's West employee took to its Facebook page and posted: "This is it, folks, come out and support the venue. Lestat's West Music Venue [is] closing at the end of March."
The news was devastating to the local music community and the outcry was deafening -- as many area musicians got their start and made their home on the red-curtained Lestat's West stage.
According to owner John Husler, the venue, which is situated directly next door to the Normal Heights location of Lestat's Coffee House, just wasn't making enough money.
"It's never been profitable, but it was more cost-neutral [in the past]," Husler told SoundDiego in March. He went on to say that the discussion of the venue's closure has been ongoing for the past two years.
However, on Tuesday, April 24, Louis Brazier -- longtime Lestat's West Music Venue booking manager and sound engineer (and heart and soul behind the theater's live-music operations) -- posted an update to the venue's Facebook page. [Ed. note: We've edited for grammar and punctuation]
"Hey, folks. So your words, posts and what music means to our communities, along with this grateful soul, sat down with John [Husler] and Jamie and again I'm amazed with their compassion, support and belief. Lestat's West Venue will be back, rocking away with a show this Saturday for Adams Avenue Unplugged April 28th, noon to 10 p.m."
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After listing the set times and performers for that show, Brazier continued:
"But will need your support, logistically things have changed. Lestat's has handed me the venue. They will support the room with fees, power, etc. I will no longer be an employee of Lestat's, cutting overhead down. So my living will be made only from the Lestat's cut of the cover. I believe this music community is strong, creative and talented and we can do this."
So, Lestat's patrons: It's time to put up or shut up. Are you willing to support shows at the theater to the point where Brazier can make a living from a portion of the door proceeds? It's one thing to demand that Lestat's West Music Venue host live music, but it's another thing altogether to put your money where your mouth is.