Dave Grohl, Big Tony, Ian MacKaye, Mark Noone & Seth Hurwitz Celebrate 9:30’s 40th: Video

9:30 Club Roundtable

9:30 Club 40th Anniversary round table discussion.

In a freewheeling and historical roundtable yesterday — significantly on 9/30 — the 9:30 Club celebrated its 40th anniversary with a power-packed livestreamed Pollstar Live! and VenuesNow Digital Session (full video below).

The discussion featured a number of high-powered Capital City music luminaries including Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters (and Nirvana, but who mostly spoke about his punk past in Scream and Dain Bramage); beloved Trouble Funk frontman Big Tony; Mark Noone from the amazing and criminally under-appreciated Slickee Boys; and, for a few minutes, the D.C. deity that is the great Ian MacKaye, Dischord Records co-founder, member of The Evens and Coriky and formerly of the Teen Idols, Minor Threat, Embrace and Fugazi.  

A common denominator for this disparate group of musicians is the 9:30 Club, which they all credit with helping to foster their love of music, building the local music community and facilitating very different careers.

Joining these influential artists was outspoken 9:30 owner and I.M.P. chairman Seth Hurwitz along with I.M.P. chief operating officer Donna Westmoreland, club booker Jen Hass, and its assistant GM Karim Karefa and I.M.P. communications director Audrey Fix Schaefer. Moderating the discussion was Pollstar Executive Editor and D.C. native Andy Gensler. All helped bring perspective to the 9:30’s circuitous path from downtown D.C dingy hole-in-the-wall to internationally renowned venue, which consistently tops Pollstar Boxoffice’s year-end chart for venues under 2,000 cap.

In addition to the lauded club’s historical context, the rollicking discussion looked at the struggles venues currently face during the pandemic, with Fix Schafer – who is also the communications head for the National Independent Venues Association – explaining how people can help save their local venues, which include going to the organization’s Save Our Stages site.

Look for the feature story “The Other National Monument: The 9:30 Club Turns 40” in this week’s issue of Pollstar.