Black Sheep 12 Year Anniversary Show Tonight

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Wow, can you believe it!? On this very date in Springfield twelve years ago we hosted our very first ever show at Black Sheep in 2005. You can find that old flier and lineup on our Black Sheep history page along with a few other notable dates and events that have occurred along the way. Tonight is our big celebration of that- with four bands all from here in town of different genres, two of which are playing CD release shows. Stick People from Taylorville, Illinois is one of those bands. They will be releasing their five-track CD, Lips. Bottom Bracket is the other one, the punk/emo/indie band that has been making a splash as of late. Stream their new EP below officially being released tonight. Other than that we have solo acoustic performer Kate Ridge on board. Also the rowdy punk band Prowess opening things up.

The show tonight will start at 7:00 pm and admission is $5, going to keep Black Sheep going. Check out a facebook event for the show right here. Also be sure to check out our shows page for a look at what else is coming up at Black Sheep this fall.

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Rachel Otwell (NPR IL): “On The Romance & Reality of Black Sheep” + FAQ’s

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Sure, you may be hearing some rumors on the current state of our venue The Black Sheep so now may be an appropriate time to address them.

As many of you know, our four owners (Brian + Clare + Drew + and BJ) made a public cry for help and an update on the state of things on our facebook group which you can find right here. The post generated a lot of discussion. From the original post:

We are not looking for just cash donations, or to make a kickstarter page or anything like that. There are a lot of great people in our community that totally support everything we are doing (which is great!), but more so are doing so from the sidelines. Really we just need to see support in the form of people coming out. And of course it was great having that Noisey article this past week, the MU330 show was also great, but the average show here has become an average of 4-5 people showing up and us having to apologize to touring bands to come from across the country to play at a space and community that they only hear good things about.

Rachel Otwell of NPR Illinois wrote a reflection piece on the state of things at Black Sheep on the NPR IL site you can find right here. Here’s a bit from that piece:

My sincere hope as an advocate for art in this city is that we will continue to make this miracle of miracles work. Surely there are more people like me out there. People who maybe aren’t going to attend multiple shows a month, even – but can recognize and value this space for what it is. People who know they are welcome and should show up as much as they ever feel they’d want to. For those of us who already love it – it’s time to show what true community is about and help support each other. Let’s get excited about what the future might bring if enough people come together to figure out how to keep this thing running. As romantic as the idea of this mecca of DIY/weirdo culture is – the reality is it is also really hard work, and it’s work best shared. Not every detail will be perfect, and there is always room for constructive feedback.

So what happens after this? A lot of you probably have a good amount of questions. We’ll do our best now to answer a few that we are being asked:

What can I do to help?
For those of you reaching out just looking to donate money – that is great, and while that IS very much an issue for us right now, the main issue is just people coming out and supporting what we are doing. The number one thing you can do to help us right now is to just come out. We just got done with a weekend of five shows in a row and unfortunately do not have a lot lined up after this at this point. Let’s make these next shows count. A lot of you are also reaching out asking to book certain types of shows, or if your band can play shows, etc. We appreciate all of that, but again the most important thing right now is just coming out to support what we have going on. We are very much open to new people setting up new events at our space, and oftentimes it is just best that you come out to discuss these ideas with us in person at some shows coming up! We will also likely be having a roundtable meeting at the beginning of September to further this discussion.

Is Black Sheep really closing? How soon will the venue shut down if it is?
We did not intend for this to come off as an announcement that we will be closing soon or even at all in the near future, more as a cry for help or warning before we do. If it is closing down, the matter of time before it does really is up to all of you in terms of coming out to shows. We are aware that this announcement has generated some buzz around our venue and some people stepping up to help, we are concerned that in the weeks to come that this buzz will go away and then we will really be in trouble. We are also concerned right now because usually the middle of winter is the hardest time of the year for us and the summer is usually the best, and this summer has been a struggle to get through to say the least.

Can my band play a show there? Can I help set up a show or workshop?
Yes, but please keep in mind that we are getting a lot of these messages and requests right now and again the main problem is people coming out. Really the best way to talk to us about your band playing is to just come out and talk to us! We also have a meeting being planned for the beginning of September.

September 16th at Black Sheep: 12 Year Anniversary Show + Stick People / Bottom Bracket CD Release

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Today we have a fun and happy show to tell you about happening next month at Black Sheep! It’s our 12 year anniversary show happening on Saturday, September 16th, celebrating a whole entire dozen years of Black Sheep as an all ages music venue in Springfield starting in 2005. It’s been a wild ride, but we’ve made it this far and plan on keeping on for as long as we can! Check out our Black Sheep history page with a lot of important dates right here.

This show will also be an important one because it is going to be the CD release shows for both Stick People and Bottom Bracket. These will both be some of the first releases that Southtown Sound has been working on for quite some time that are finally going to be released to the public. Expect some sneak peaks from those EPs/albums sometime between now and this show! Also playing this special show is our old friends Sammy & The Punk who have been rocking and rolling in the city for a few years now. Also Prowess, the fart bomb punk band, and Kate Ridge (or Kate Laine) – wonderful acoustic solo act.

This show will start at 7:00 pm and admission is $5. Check out a facebook event for this one right here. Also be sure to check out our shows page for a good look at what else is coming up at Black Sheep in the near future!

A Statement From Us

For the majority of our eleven year existence as an all ages show space in Springfield, The Black Sheep’s focus has always been music and art for all ages and not much more than that. We have refrained from getting too “political” because we have felt that existing as the only all ages show space in Springfield and as a means for people of all different backgrounds to express themselves is a strong statement in and of itself.

The results of this past election have us as well as many others in our community angered, disappointed, and some frightened as to what the future may hold. At this point it seems only appropriate for us to make some sort of statement to reiterate that we exist as an outlet of escape and expression for our community, and also that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, or any thing of the sort are not tolerated or supported by our space. The owners of this venue and the people who support it always strive to help people feel safe and will continue to do so with even more passion and determination to the best of our abilities and beyond. We absolutely encourage open dialogue at all times, however the abhorrences listed above are absolutely unacceptable and will be acknowledged as such in any event that they are presented.

It seems as it is important now more than ever for our community to come together to support each other and also reach out to other communities that may be negatively effected by this year’s election and need an outlet such as our space to be heard. We will be organizing an event to make this possible on Sunday, December 4th. We want to feature music, art, speakers, and poetry from different backgrounds and give everyone a chance to be heard as well raise money for different charity organizations that need our help in this time.

More info regarding an event will be coming soon- you can reach out to us (blacksheepspringfield@gmail.com) if you are interested in helping organize or participate or if you have any other ideas or suggestions as to what our space can be used for to reach out to different communities to help in these times. We are also open to any information regarding protests and recourses offering help to those hurting right now to be posted in our facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/44027523199/

Thank you for listening and as always your continued support.

September 16th at Black Sheep: Black Sheep 11 Year Anniversary Show

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Well we sure are behind on announcing our September shows. How could we almost forget that Black Sheep’s birthday is in September!? That’s right on Friday, September 16th we will be celebrating of exactly 11 years of operating as an all ages space. The venue’s very first show was September 16th, 2005. For more on that and to read up on more of our venue’s history- check out our Black Sheep History page!

This show is going to be a real rocker. We have some metal and hardcore and some punk coming together for one show. For this we have Livin’ Thing, who will be returning from their 11 day tour soon before this. Check out their demo below. We also have heavy hitting metalcore group Set Fire To Salem from the metal end of things. Up before that is some Springfield newblood in GRINN. And opening things up is a brand new metal/alternative band coming out of Springfield called “Synzu.”

The show will start at 7:00 pm and admission is just $5. You can check out a facebook event for this one right here. Also be sure to check out our shows page for a good look at everything coming to Black Sheep this fall.

Black Sheep History Page Updated

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Along with Black Sheep turning ten years last weekend and many stories being shared on the event page for our anniversary show, we have some updates to our lengthy Black Sheep history page. First off, after many years of assuming it being lost forever, we finally found a photo of a flier for the first ever show at Black Sheep (pictured above). Thank you to Dr. Metz for helping us uncover this long lost flier!

If you head over to the Black Sheep history page you will find a number of added important dates, including a good amount from our building before it was Black Sheep, going as far back as the 1800’s. Be on the lookout of videos from our 10-year anniversary show coming very soon!

WUIS: The Scene’s Audio Doc: “10 Years Of Black Sheep Venue”

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Rachel Otwell and Scott Faingold of WUIS’s “The Scene” have put together a 20-minute audio documentary covering The Black Sheep and us making it to ten years as an all ages venue in Springfield.

Check out the documentary right here.

For this piece Rachel and Scott talked to a wide variety people from all different areas of Southtown including former Black Sheep owner and founder Kevin Bradford, Dumb Fest co-ordinator Brian Galecki, Project Southtown co-ordinator Clare Frachey, Sammy Flores of HISO Music, Mary Clay of Popeye’s Barbeque, Jess Knight of Looming, Bo Mellado of Asthma, and more. Each person talks about their role in Southtown, how the neighborhood and Black Sheep has effected them and what they do.

You can expect videos and pictures from our 10-year anniversary show coming very soon!