Rumor Has It
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Back in September, I got a text from Brent Cole, What’s Up! Magazine editor and founder and person who knows the greatest number of embarrassing things about me. No words, just a screen grab of a convo between him and the Wild Buffalo’s Craig Jewell that begins with Cole asking if Jan. 18, 2020 was available for an awards show, and ends with Jewell’s succinct “January 18th is wide open. Let’s do it.”
And just like that, the What’s Up! Awards, and the show where they are handed out, were revived after a three-year hiatus.
As mentioned, the show will happen Sat., Jan. 18 at the Wild Buffalo, and Dryland, the Blood Capsules, the Rhetorician, Supermissive, LipStitch, and Munch are all slated to play. Per usual, awards will be won, shenanigans will ensue, and Brent will begin the night by saying he’ll never do it again and end it feeling pretty good about Bellingham’s music scene and his role within it.
But the awards show isn’t the only thing making a surprise return to our musical landscape these days.
After what I can only assume were protracted negotiations, the Main Street Bar & Grill and the City of Ferndale reached an agreement regarding live music at the bar. Despite having hosted countless shows over many years with what appeared to be no problems, the Main Street received notice that the city was reclassifying the space as a nightclub, triggering a requirement for an expensive fire-suppression system.
The venue’s choices were to install the cost-prohibitive sprinklers or pull the plug on the live music. And so the Main Street went quiet almost a year ago.
Then Kevin Bacon came to town, fell for the preacher’s rebellious daughter, taught Chris Penn to dance, convinced the powers that be that letting people listen to music would not cause their children to die in a car accident, and live music rang out once again at the Main Street.
That’s how it goes in my imagination, anyway.
According to My Ferndale News, which got to the bottom of the story while I was thinking about Kevin Bacon, the City and the Main Street came to an agreement in which the bar would not have to install the sprinklers and would still be able to book live music—with the pretty heavy caveats of limiting it to Thurs.-Sat., and stipulating that it go no later than 10pm (9pm on Thursdays). The Main Street is also prohibited from levying a cover charge. It’s tough to know how it’s all going to work out given the time limits and economic constraints, so my hope is the Main Street will do such an excellent job under these new circumstances that the Ferndale version of John Lithgow will be won over and will let everyone cut footloose.