BREAKING: Lauded West Philly DIY space Golden Tea House has called it a day

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Catyetana | photo by Rachel Del Sordo
Catyetana at Golden Tea House | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Though we’ve been hearing rumblings about the Golden Tea House closing up shop for what seems like a year now, it doesn’t make this news any less of a bummer. Via Facebook, the venue has announced this afternoon that it will no longer be hosting shows.Text of the announcement is below:

hey lovelies,
golden tea house is no more. everything we’ve got booked right now will be moving elsewhere, and we won’t be doing any more shows. the why and how aren’t really important but suffice it to say it was one of the more predictable inevitable causes. this whole thing has been an absolute pleasure, and we’ve done so much more than i ever would have predicted. so many absurd, beautiful, brilliant, fun, stupid stupid shows. i can’t help but get sappy and sentimental about something that’s consumed most of my free time for so long, but we want to most of all say thank you to everyone who ever lived here, booked shows here, played here, helped out, or just came out to support what we were doing. I don’t think we did anything that great, and we fucked up more times than i can count, but it was fucking magical nonetheless, and hopefully some of you feel the same. we love you all. keep in touch, we’ll be around.
xoxo
house

PS: we have a lot of stuff that needs to get moved, and if you’ve got a spot that’s willing to take some stuff on, please get in touch.

PPS: we never did get that Arrivals show. this’ll have to do.
http://youtu.be/gFRMpJXWC-4

PPPS: in lieu of flowers, please send minze

Winds of the change have been in the air for a while now, between Golden Tea House packing in higher profile shows – The Sidekicks the other weekend, which had a line out the front door and down the block, against promoter’s wishes – and the escalating development of high-end condos (or maybe they’re apartments…fancy housing at any rate) in the venue’s West Philly neighborhood.

And the good folks at Guild Shows have been tongue-in-cheekily jibing about closing as well for quite some time: when a photograph of their spring 2014 album release party for The Menzingers appeared in the New York Times and nary a peep was heard from local authorities, they joked on Twitter “what do we have to do to get shut down?”

It’s important to note, however, that this was not a case of “venue gets shut down” – at least not as far as the evidence presented on the surface indicates. My sense is that it was more that the venue had reached the end of its lifespan, as all venues – particularly unofficial DIY spaces – are bound by.

And you know what? Golden Tea House had an incredible run. Many DIY spaces throw in the towel after six months; GTH did their thing for close to three years, and nurtured an incredible culture of passionate all-ages showgoers in Philly. And while it’s sad to see their fertile run come to an end, it’s by no mean “end of an era.” The scene always continues…it found a way to do so after The Ox, after Ava House and Terrordome, after the Fake House and Stalag 13 and however far back into history you want to go.

I look forward to seeing shows at the next Golden Tea House, whatever it may be called and wherever it may be.

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