If you hadn’t heard, Holland got dealt a bummer at the end of August: Lemonjello’s will no longer be hosting live music following a final show Sept. 20.
After an 11-and-a-half-year run, owner Matthew Scott has decided to move on, citing a fizzling interest from bands and smaller turnouts for shows.
“Maybe it’s the draw of bigger cities or the massive amount of content the Internet provides,” Scott said in a blog post on the LJ website. “Whatever the reasons may be, I’ve chosen to move on and let others take up the flag. I don’t think music is dead or that Holland isn’t the place for it. But I do think it’s time for a change.”
The venue’s swan song will feature performances from Secret Grief (Muskegon), The Fever Haze (Zeeland), Runaway Brother (Cleveland), DXVXD (Grand Rapids) and a solo set from Scott’s own project, Faces and Crowds.
The Fever Haze’s Jake Kalmink looked back fondly on LJ’s run.
“My most notable memory has definitely got to be the 10th birthday bash,” he said. “Tons of people, tons of friends - just great overall.”
Although naturally bummed, Kalmink said he’s confident other venues in the area will pick up the slack.
“I used to be real cynical about it, but Park Theater has really stepped up and become a very great venue lately,” Kalmink said. “I look forward to seeing what that does to the scene that has been particularly dormant as of late.”
According to the blog post on LJ’s website, Scott spent two years after college on the road as a touring musician - all the while working with West Michigan concert promoters to learn the ropes on the business side of things. Shortly after realizing he was more into organizing shows than he was playing them, Lemonjello’s opened and the venue quickly became a local staple.
Among the venues most storied visitors and performers are Sufjan Stevens, Viva Voce, Anathallo, Cool Hand Luke, Breathe Owl Breathe, Valentiger and more. While the shop initially had a 15-seat capacity for shows, an expansion in 2005 boosted that number closer to 100, which Kalmink said he’s shooting for on Sept. 20.
“Hopefully [we pack it] til no one can walk, and just play loud rock and roll with a bunch of friends and people I’ve met there over the years.”
The show at LJ’s (61 E. 9th St., Holland) starts at 6 p.m. and is free.
Read Scott’s full blog post here.