Badlands, located at 1007 East Fayette Street in Syracuse is officially gone forever.
Badlands is a volunteer based community music venue, which specializes in local, DIY (do-it-yourself) shows for young musicians. While Badlands managed to host up to three shows a week since it opened in 2011, its location in a former storefront on the first floor of an apartment building was no longer economically viable.
Managing volunteer, Trevor Clement blames the long arm of Syracuse University as the deciding factor of the closing. With the university claiming a great deal of property in the neighborhood and the university sponsored Spark Contemporary Art Space right next door, Badlands felt the pressure to make room for more lucrative uses of the space.
“Every property owner in our neighborhood thinks they’re sitting on a goldmine, and are acting accordingly,” Clement says. The landlord of 1007 E. Fayette Street is Albert Azria. Clement explained that Azria intended to triple the rent (which was $500 per month) in exchange for minor improvements to the building.
Azria claims that Badlands is leaving due to noise complaints, however, he did admit that SU has made offers for the space.
The final show at Badlands was on June 28 and filled with an appropriate sense of abandon. The show, entitled “Assault City Fest IV” featured 13 local hardcore bands and an impressive light show.
However, while Badlands as it was is gone, Clement is confident there is still a future for a DIY venue in Syracuse and volunteers have big plans for the future. Clement would like to have practice rooms, a print studio, and maybe even a recording studio in future iterations of Badlands. “One day, I would like for us to be a community space that acts as a one-stop shop for independent music in Syracuse,” he says.
The volunteers are already scoping out potential new locations on North Salina Street and West Genesee Street.
Clement says they already have a working title for the new venue: NEW WORLD ORDER. A fitting title for what could well end up a hub of local music in Syracuse. Whatever becomes of NEW WORLD ORDER, musicians and music lovers of Syracuse will always be happy to have a safe place to express themselves, and the volunteers of the DIY space formerly known as Badlands will always be happy to accommodate them.