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Glasslands to shatter, shutter — and reports blame Vice

Bringing down the house: A band graces Glasslands’ stage during its final months as an indie music venue.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Another music venue bites the dust.

Kent Avenue music club Glasslands has announced that it will close at the end of the year, which, according to a report by Gawker, is the result of a deal struck with the building owner to end the leases of current tenants to make room for a new headquarters for Vice Media. The hipster-journalism juggernaut is moving into two buildings at 49 S. Second St. Its arrival also spelled curtains for Death By Audio, another scrappy venue that announced its closure in September after, according to Gawker, the landlords declined to renew its lease.

Glasslands kicking the bucket marks the latest in a long line of Williamsburg concert hall closures, which management acknowledged in an announcement on its website.

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

The message on the site lauded the eight-year history of the club facing Kent Avenue, referencing early shows by now-famous acts including MGMT, TV On the Radio, and Bon Iver.

“When Glasslands opened in 2006 as an experimental community art space, Kent Avenue felt like a forgotten backwater,” the message reads.

Of course, Kent Avenue is far from a forgotten backwater now. The road is punctuated by brand-new luxury apartment buildings, newly renovated parks, and scores of high-end eateries.

The changes have not been friendly to indie music venues, some of them flouting liquor laws, fire codes, and cabaret-license requirements in raw industrial spaces.

In the past couple of years, Public Assembly, House of Yes, and Zebulon have all closed, and Death by Audio is set to close in November. House of Yes is set to reopen on Jefferson Street in Bushwick, but Public Assembly and Zebulon appear gone for good.

That is bad news for Brooklyn musicians who don’t have the backing of big-time promoters, one song-smith said.

“It is definitely tricky for venues to find the right formula to pay the performers and the sound guy and all the moving parts,” said singer-songwriter Dani Mari, who had been hoping to book a show at Glasslands. “It is sad that it is going away.”The Vice move-in also forced Second-Street-at-Kent-Avenue tenants IndieScreen, a movie theater with a restaurant and bar, and Genius Media, formerly Rap Genius, to look for new digs, the Commercial Observer reported in September.

Vice moves in this coming January, according to reports.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurf‌aro@c‌ngloc‌al.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitt‌er.com/‌Danie‌lleFu‌rfaro.

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