Make.Shift in the Park

Al fresco all-ages action

Recently, I was stopped by someone in the street who wanted to know about any/all upcoming shows that her daughter might be interested in attending. Trouble is, her daughter is not yet 21, which severely limits her options for live music in Bellingham.

For those of us who are of age and love live music, life in Bellingham is an ever-plentiful musical oasis. But for those younger than 21, that oasis is a cruel mirage in a musical desert that stretches as far as the eye can see and the ear can hear.

What few options exist took a significant hit a couple of months ago when Make.Shift enacted a moratorium on shows in its basement until such time as they can get that space in compliance with Bellingham’s fire code.

Steady progress is being made toward achieving that goal, but, in the meantime, the lack of all-ages music in town—an ongoing problem, even during the best of times—is a loss that resonates beyond just the underage population.

The moratorium aside, their current status as Bellingham’s only legit all-ages music venue is a thing Make.Shift takes seriously, and, as such, they’re not going to let a little thing like not being able to their basement silence them. As well, the nimble nonprofit has shown a knack for bringing some sideways thinking and inventive problem-solving to bear when it comes to surmounting whatever obstacles come its way, this situation being no exception.

This adaptability will be on full display on Sun., June 23 when Make.Shift will take over downtown Bellingham’s Maritime Heritage Park for a show featuring the Exquisites (formerly known as Jason Clackley and the Exquisites), San Jose’s Shinobu, Atlanta’s the Wild, and stalwart Bellingham all-ages supporters So Adult. These bands and this show would be right at home in the Make.Shift basement, but seeing them in the scenic al fresco locale of Maritime Heritage Park on what is fixing to be a sunny day has its own special allure, as does the fact that the show is free (although donations will certainly be accepted and much appreciated by both Make.Shift and the bands). It is probably worth noting that the start time for this special Sunday show is 6pm, and with four bands on the bill and a hard 10pm end time, showing up fashionably late will mean missing some of the precious all-ages action.

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