Austin venue Barracuda one of three Red River venues forced to close; Spoon & others pay tribute
We've been very sad to see beloved music venues like Great Scott in Allston being forced to close for good because of the coronavirus pandemic, and here's another one that hurts. Austin's Barracuda -- a 7th and Red River venue that regularly booked bands whose tour dates we post on BrooklynVegan, and a venue the NY-based BV staff frequented during SXSW and other trips to Austin over the past five years (and the same spot we threw day parties at when it was known as Red 7) -- say "the time has come for Barracuda Club to big adieu."
They continue, "From the incredible artists to our amazing staff, we thank you for making us part of your lives for the last 5 years. For our going away party, we ask that you share a memory of us with #Barrys4ever."
They also mention that all all proceeds from the remaining merch items in their webstore will go to Austin Justice Coalition, "a Racial Justice Group that educates and builds community power for people of color who live in Austin, Texas that need support, community, and liberation during a time of systemic injustice in America."
All remaining shows on their schedule will be rescheduled for a different venue, and they say "please be patient as we work through the details."
Damn. RIP Barracuda.
A handful of musicians have posted tributes since the news broke. Austin locals Spoon wrote, "We love the Barracuda and are crushed to get this news. Maybe now’s a good time for a reminder to let your legislators know that independent music venues need help. Take action via National Independent Venue Association (NIVA).
Har Mar Superstar wrote, "Sad to see Barracuda go. So many legendary nights enjoyed here. A very special place for the development of Heart Bones. Thanks for everything! :("
Hot Water Music wrote, "Thank you for opening your doors for us. We truly appreciate it 💔HWM."
Strand of Oaks, who recently moved to Austin, wrote, "Last show I went to was Donny Benet at Barracuda - one of my favorite memories since moving here, a perfect night. Friendliest staff, best atmosphere, very sad to read this."
Eater Austin reports that Barracuda was one of three Red River venues recently forced to close, the others being Plush and Scratchouse (which replaced Holy Mountain in 2016).
Plush general manager Ryan Cunningham wrote, "It's with a very heavy heart that I say this, but I have decided to close the doors of Plush. I don't need to go into details, but the combination of ever raising prices and new regulations has just been too much. Over the next few months we will be keeping our eyes open for a new location away from downtown Austin, with hopes of reopening at some point. But, ya know, with a patio and what not if possible."
According to a survey conducted by NIVA, nearly all independent music venues are in danger due to the coronavirus pandemic, and presumably Austin venues have been hit especially hard due to the financial impact of SXSW being cancelled for the first time in its 34-year history.
This article was updated after our initial posting to include the closures of Plush and Scratchouse, and to add artist tributes.