UPDATE: Spaceland Productions Senior Talent Buyer Liz Garo confirms new Spaceland Productions venue to open within a “few months” … plus more on page two.
It lasted seventeen years, but less than an hour ago Spaceland Productions announced they'd be moving out of the iconic 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. address to a space unknown sometime early next year: “It's just time for a change,” Spaceland owner Mitchell Frank told Buzzbands (and L.A. Weekly) writer Kevin Bronson today. As first reported by Bronson, a new venue named the Satellite–helmed by longtime Spaceland booker Jennifer Tefft, who left Spaceland almost a year ago–will re-open under the direction of the 1717 Silver Lake Blvd. property owner Jeff Wolfram. According to a Spaceland Productions press release, Frank and business partner Jeff Ellermeyer are looking to “open a new room for live music with a strong leaning towards dance nights and DJs.”
Immediate press requests to Frank were awaiting response at blog-press time, but suddenly displaced ex-Spaceland talent buyer and booker Shannon Cornett–responsible most recently for organizing the much-anticipated (and at press time still scheduled for 1717 Silver Lake) January Melvins residency–said that Frank and Wolfram split over what she calls “basically creative differences. I think it was our time to leave. Like everything, it evolves.”
But should bands with shows on the Spaceland calendar–or the fans who want to see them–be worried?
No, says Cornett. The existing schedule won't be affected: “For the shows I booked already, I'm still gonna be there. There are a lot of shows already booked–up until March. Those shows will remain and still be Spaceland Presents. Whatever dates weren't booked, Tefft will be taking over. Jeff [Wolfram] wanted to be more involved in the booking so that's going to be in-house.”
Cornett is now looking for new venues to promote, but says that Wolfram is “honoring anyone who works sound or the door. They will still have their job if they want it.”
As for the Satellite, says Cornett: “What's going to happen is they're just going to become our competition.”
Spaceland Productions Senior Talent Buyer Liz Garo on Spaceland Productions' new eastside venue and more on the next page…
Spaceland Productions Senior Talent Buyer Liz Garo confirms any scheduled Spaceland shows will still happen and that Frank and partner Jeff Ellermeyer will be opening a new eastside venue focused on dance nights and DJs (with bands too!) sometime in the next few months: “There's gonna be a new room that Mitchell [Frank] opens on the eastside,” she says.
But is there enough space for a new competitor like the Satellite to insert itself between existing venues like the Echo and Echoplex ,the Silverlake Lounge and a new Spaceland Productions room? And how does it feel to be competing against shows at the space you helped start?
“I think it'll be OK,” says Garo, who also says that herself, Frank, Cornett and Tefft were the only four people to ever book at the 1717 Silver Lake location. “The competition kind of spurs people on. When you think about it, when Jen [Tefft] was in house with us at Spaceland, we were still able to book Spaceland and the Echo and Echoplex. There's plenty of bands and shows to go around.”
As for the history of the 1717 Silver Lake location–which has been practically synonymous with Silver Lake music for more than a decade–Garo says, “It's not the building that made the scene–it's the music and all the people that went there and played there.”