March 17, 2003

Fire Hazard

Word on the street has it that Philadelphia’s club the Khyber is closed, quite possibly for good. Apparently the crackdown on fire codes after the recent Great White concert tragedy has caused many cities to reevaluate their clubs for possible violations. Granted, in the event of a fire, the Khyber would be a death trap, but the part that really hurts is that Philly already has a struggling music scene as far as local bands and small venues are concerned. More and more venues are being sucked up by Clear Channel who sleeps well at night by charging way too much for shows. Without the efforts of people like R5 Productions and smaller clubs like the Khyber, you wouldn’t be able to see a band coming through town for less than $30+. Maybe I am just stubborn but I can rarely justify spending that much to see a band. I have seen some of my most favorite shows at the Khyber. Its dark, hole-in-the-wall atmosphere had a charm all its own. The small rooms provided you an intimacy level that made you really feel like you were participating with the band and not just watching from hundreds of yards away. Hopefully they will be able to find a way to open up again, until then they will be sorely missed.

Commentary (2):

1. PeterSantaMaria says… mar 17, 2003 | 2:23 pm

Well, unfortunately, the Khyber situation isn’t as black and white as it seems…

The guy who owns the Khyber has been trying to get it off his hands for a while now, so this may be the perfect opportunity for him to unload the club on some rich oil baron or drunken hipster, who would then turn the club into some other craptacular Olde City disco.

The main violations the Khyber was charged with were: a blocked exit (the door that is right behind the stage), illegal space upstairs (they never got a permit for the second floor bar/lounge area that was put in about a year ago), and other misc. fire code violations.

In order to open back up, the Khyber will have to pay the fines they were charged and also buy some sorta secret special permit for the upstairs area.

Will they reopen? If I was a bettin’ man, I would say no…

It definitely is a shame. I have played on that stage many a night and it is a great place to see live bands…

2. ROb Weychert says… mar 17, 2003 | 6:40 pm

It’s been a long time since I last cried. I think the Khyber closing would clear the pipes.