Gentrification Blues: Williamsburg’s Glasslands Is Closing

Vice Media taking over Glasslands Williamsburg Brooklyn

The New York City music community is still aching from a proverbial kick in the groin after this week’s announcement that much loved indie music space Glasslands is closing.

For the past eight years Glasslands, a once illegal venue located on Williamburg, Brooklyn’s Kent Avenue, has been home to DJs, bands and all sorts of underground musical shenanigans. But that’s all going to end on January 1, 2015, as Vice Media, the marketing behemoth with deep pockets, needs new digs and is willing to pay top dollar for real estate in New York City’s hippest neighborhood.

News of Glassland’s shuttering arrives after two other Williamsburg venues, 285 Kent and Death By Audio casino luck, previously announced their closure, reportedly due to Vice moving into space at S. 2nd Street and Kent Avenue (the company is reportedly planning to more than double their staff in the next five years).

Vice Media has yet to make a public statement about the matter. But that hasn’t stopped Billboard, Gothamist and other Vice haters/competitors from piling on, perhaps even secretly wishing they too had Vice’s $6.5M take break.

Despite all of the hyperbole and acrimony, Glassland has taken the high road, posting an eloquent message on their Facebook.

Glasslands, you will be greatly missed.

Dearest friends –

You’re probably getting used to hearing news like this in Williamsburg, so we’ll cut right to the chase: this New Year’s Eve will be Glasslands’ final night of music.

When Glasslands opened in 2006 as an experimental community art space, Kent Avenue felt like a forgotten backwater, scattered with old warehouses playing temporary home to non-profit arts collectives, galleries, and DIY shows. During that time, our single block saw a handful of historically ambitious art & music spaces open: Secret Project Robot/Lives With Animals, Paris London West Nile, Pyramids, Death By Audio, 285 Kent… we’re proud to have grown up in this place and time.

It was an awesome blur: there were shows with MGMT, TV On The Radio, Bon Iver, Yeasayer, Disclosure, Alt-J, there were Soul Clap dance competitions, there were aerialists, comedians, theater groups, fashion shows, raves.

Most importantly, the staff, artists, and party people that have been a part of Glasslands for the past 8 years made the venue a special creative home for music, and a joy to run. It’s impossible to fully communicate how grateful we are for all your love and support.

We’ve got a few months left, and we intend for them to be our best ever. Please come by and help us celebrate our final season.

Goodbye for now, but not forever.


Image via Facebook

Darren Ressler

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