Shea Stadium launches Kickstarter to help reopen, free shows for life among pledge rewards

"Shea Stadium: lifting people up since 2009." Photo by Seth Applebaum
“Shea Stadium: lifting people up since 2009.” Photo by Seth Applebaum

Bushwick’s Shea Stadium has had a rough year, having announced their second temporary closure back at the beginning of this month. Instead of throwing in the towel and caving to the bureaucratic, corporate regime that has successfully killed so many of the small DIY institutions shut since the turn of the century, Shea is continuing to fight the good fight and has now launched a Kickstarter to raise $50,000 and re-open, “legally for a more sustainable future.”

This is an especially feasable goal seeing as Shea states the issues with the space are not structural but a matter of racking up more fines than they could pay for as, “the city’s increased regulation and inflated rents have made running these types of spaces an uphill climb.” According to a diagram showing where funds will go on the Kickstarter page, the majority of money will be for Department of Health, Department of Buildings, and FDNY renovations, with architecture fees in second most expensive place.

The pledge prizes are top notch: a buck will earn you a staff-curated playlist, $350 gets you a trip to Citi Field to “see everyone’s favorite underdogs” with the Shea crew, and for $1,000 you get all listed rewards plus free shows for life, and your face painted in one of Shea’s bathrooms.

Don’t have cash? Shea is also looking for architects, lawyers, licensed plumbers, electricians, and those who know their way around city agencies and building code.

The Kickstarter is set up as an all or nothing project, meaning if it does not reach $50,000 in donations by Friday, April 21 at 7:16am Shea will receive none of the money. Seeing as they’ve currently raised $42,046 as of this writing, however, it’s looking pretty good they’ll reach their goal and then some.

Since 2009, Shea Stadium has been there, up the stairs from the ground floor entry on its very industrial block, an artist-friendly space with a reliably cheap cover and good vibes. When Four Loko original flavor was banned, the good people at Shea immediately came up with a home brewed alternative: liquorice, Red Bull, vodka, and a dark liquid they called “Gowanus water”. Shea’s visitor Facebook posts are the sweetest, most heartfelt venue reviews you’ll ever read.

So come on people now, let’s not let the hallowed floors where we moshed and made out, puked and were puked upon, sang and screamed and sat on couches grimier than the subway tracks become just another condo. Let’s take a moment of silence for Death By Audio, 285 Kent & Monster Island Basement and other gone DIY greats, and let’s not let Shea join the list.

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