7th Circle Collective Venue Owner talks to Cam Students
On January 31st, 2017 Aaron Saye, owner of the Denver “DIY’ collective 7th Circle music venue came to visit students at the University of Colorado at Denver. He shared the history of the all ages venue (7th circle) that has become a hotspot nationally for underground artists in the United States. As a former student, he described how important it was for him to take music business classes at CU and learn what he could about booking live acts. Although he was a film major, his time learning about the music industry would prove indeed useful to him in his career. The story of the venue is important for Denver as 2016 has seen numerous collective venue shutdowns in Denver and in the U.S., following the deaths of more than 30 people at an Oakland, CA ‘DIY’ music venue that caught fire.
Saye described the past few months of shutdowns as a stressful time for him and his venue. He talked about how important it was for his space to have a current zoning permit that it had, as well as it being a formed LLC business that pays taxes. The 7th Circle collective was inspected by a fire Marshall following the Oakland incident and without these documents, it very well could have been shut down along with “The Glob” and “Rhinoceropolis”, which are the two “DIY” venues in Denver that were shut down in 2016. Although the spaces were not safe and up to city standards, many music fans were devastated to hear of the closures. Saye called it “Dumb luck” that his venue didn’t get shut down as well, because he almost didn’t even have the zoning permit that he needed. Two years earlier, his venue’s zoning issue was brought to his attention by a city official. It is safe to say that if he would have disregarded the official’s warning, 7th Circle would not have passed the Fire Marshall’s inspection.
The tragedy in Oakland is tough to learn from, and brings much attention to the topic of underground all ages venues. Fire departments around the nation now have “DIY” venues under their radar, and for good reason. Saye’s venue is still a success story however… with the venue passing inspections and continuing to have over 100 shows a year. The space remains a spot for both local and touring bands of all sizes looking to grow their audience and hone their craft. Saye wrapped up his discussion by meeting many CU Students who were delighted to meet the man behind “7th Circle”, and get a chance to network with the growing music collective.