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Electrical Magic:

Long Live The Firehouse

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Thanks To An Incredibly Successful IndieGoGo Campaign, The Firehouse Will Be Able To Afford To Make Its City Of Phoenix Mandated Electrical Upgrades But They Are Still In Need Of Financial Support Heading Into Share Fire Festival


By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Sept. 17, 2014 — Sometimes a venue comes along and it changes your life. For some, that place is The Firehouse Gallery in downtown Phoenix around 1st Street and Roosevelt. What with all the venue closings in Tempe, it’s become even more vital than ever (in a desert wasteland barely populated with decent venues as it is) to hold tight the places that shape us.

The Firehouse Gallery recently ran into some issues with the City of Phoenix, who claimed the art and performance commune was not up to code.

The price tag? $7,000.

Luckily, the building owner fronted $5,000 for the electrical work that needs to be done to keep Firehouse on the block.

The venue reached out to the public, asking via IndieGoGo for the additional $2,300 needed. And as of this posting, they’ve exceeded their goal with another three weeks left to go, and are now stretching for new equipment for First Friday Night Live, as well as other essentials the venue needs.

The Share Fire Festival, Sept. 20 has planned to help raise funds for the upgrades. The event will be held at both The Firehouse Gallery, 1015 N. First St., and neighboring Bud’s Glass Joint, 1021 N. First St., Phoenix. More than 20 bands, comics, poets, dancers, fire performers, and more will be coming together for the event, including Snake! Snake! Snakes, Field Tripp, Enemies of Promise, Elena Avenue, Bad Neighbors, Lamaj J Doh, Ichi Sound, Glasspopcorn, Hot Rock Supa Joint, Andy Warpigs, Vatra, First Friday Night Live, and others. The show will run from noon until 10 p.m.
Tickets are $15, but only $10 if you donate to the IndieGoGo campaign.

The all ages fun does not end at 10 p.m. however, as the Official Share Fire Festival After Party Hosted by DJ Scapegoat does begin at 11 p.m. The after party will be hosted at The Icehouse, 429 W. Jackson St., Phoenix. Performers will include Boss Frog, Pro Teens, B4Skin, and DJentrification among others. It will run until the wee hours of the morning.

Exceeding the crowdfunding attempt is certainly great news and definitely proves how generous and supportive The Phoenix metro’s arts and music community can be. But this likely isn’t the last time The Firehouse will be hearing from the city. In 2005, Thought Crime, the Firehouse’s other gallery, was shut down after 10 years in operation due to the very serious crime of being in the way of the light rail construction. In 2012, the gallery and commune was found violating their building permit and had to shut down the Firestage, the large open-air stage behind the building. Back then, Firehouse director Michael 23 was able to work around the headache, despite facing upwards of $50,000 in construction fees.

So while Firehouse is safe for now, it might not be long before the city tries to shut them down again, especially as real estate prices around Roosevelt jump up due to increased gentrification. So we decided to ask the locals about their favorite Firehouse memory, because while this staple of downtown Phoenix’s art scene is here to stay for now, we oughta cherish this place as long as we can.

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