Burlington all-ages punk space 242 Main closed its doors after 32 years
Burlington, VT all-ages punk space 242 Main, which has been called the oldest all-ages punk venue in the country, is closing after 32 years. The venue, which hosted Fugazi, Operation Ivy, Agnostic Front, Judge, Misfits, and more over the years, opened in the '80s with help from Jane O'Meara Sanders, the future wife of Burlington's then-mayor Bernie Sanders. last year, Jane gave an interview to VICE about the space:
"We did a battle of the bands the first year and we got approval to do it that one time, and it was fantastic," O'Meara Sanders said. "We had hundreds and hundreds of kids coming out for six bands, and it's still going onto this day."
After the success of the first show, the Mayor's Youth Office started using a local auditorium for kids to play and watch music, but found that it wasn't an ideal spot. The solution was 242 Main Street, the vacated office of the Burlington Water Division.
As Jane revealed in another interview with Vermont's Seven Days, Bernie crucially lifted a ban on performing rock music on public property, in order for the space to open. "It was funny, because Bernie is not a great fan of rock music," says Jane.
WCAX-TV reports that the reason the venue is shutting down is structural problems that would cost $15 million to fix. The final show happened this past Saturday (12/3) with 21 bands playing all day.
UPDATE: There's a Change.org petition to save the venue.
Watch a full-set video of Trial playing the venue in 2012: