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Down in the basement



I must admit that I love basement shows more than any other kind of musical experience. Especially in a town that is lacking in small, all-ages venues, basements can be vital to the survival of the scene. Unfortunately for Indianapolis (a city lacking small, all-ages venues), several basements are closing their doors for good.

Of the upcoming closings, the most noteworthy is The 1511. The south Broad Ripple house has been hosting shows now for three years. The small house has seen scores of bands play in its cramped basement and hundreds of feet have walked though its doors in pursuit of music. While the house was home to mostly hardcore acts, there is no denying how important the house has been to local music in general. With a maximum capacity of well under 100, the basement of the 1511 (and other cellar venues) was the only option for many local and touring bands that were still trying to establish a following in Indianapolis.

The 1511: Whos going to clean up after these dudes?
  • The 1511: Who's going to clean up after these dudes?

As the years wore on, the stresses of being a house venue took its toll on the 1511. Windows were broken. Toilets were clogged. Cops were called. It's all a part of the sacrifice of opening up your doors for music. For anyone considering putting on shows at their house, I must warn you that you probably won't be getting your safety deposit back. Things will get broken. Things will get stolen. Your water and electricity bills will be higher and your house will never be clean.

In spite of all the hardships of running such a musical house, the positive experiences outweigh the negative. If you are a fan of music, then running a house venue is the best way to immerse yourself in music and connect with bands from all over the country. Having said that, I hope that with the closing of the 1511, a new hardcore/punk house will open to take its place.


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