No one knows when the concert scene will be able to start up again or what it will look like. Many have projected that large-venue concerts won’t come back until next year, even though some acts have rescheduled planned May and June concerts at venues such as Blossom Music Center for late summer/early fall.
Honestly, we’re more concerned about the small venues that book the bubbling under, niche and local acts and function as hangouts for the local music community. Some think those will be the first to come back, although no one’s clear what that will look like — the Beachland is already booking July and August. But they face bigger economic challenges just staying alive.
But several area clubs have online stores, and wouldn’t this be the perfect time to snag a T-shirt or another piece of merch to show your support of these small, beloved and crucial venues? (And of course they all have gift cards).
Jilly’s Music Room in Akron offers a space for a diverse group of local artists, from veterans to newbies, to play a regular gig or to break into the scene. Their shop has a ton of merch including tees, mugs, buttons, magnets and keychains. Have a look here.
In addition to T-shirts, the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights has hoodies and baby onesies — outfit the whole family! But be sure to check out the custom 18 x 24-inch signed and numbered poster by Cleveland artist Jake Kelly, based on the mural he drew inside the club. Kelly’s known for his complex flyer art that often makes oblique statements about the chaotic condition of the world today, and this design is right in line with that. “This is a weird time to be alive, right?” says one of his characters. Kelly made the poster to help bring some income to the club’s employees.
The Beachland Ballroom’s store features unique artist-designed posters, suitable for framing, from past Beachland shows ranging from The Hold Steady to Brave Combo to Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings to Black Lips. Of course they have T-shirts, in several designs including robot and Godzille and their limited edition 20th anniversary shirt, honoring one of the last events they had in March before the shutdown. And they’re adding new stuff all the time so check back.