Can Jay-Z and Beyonce Save 285 Kent? Should They?

Not reaching for Beyonce. (Photo via Day After Day)
Not reaching for Beyonce. (Photo via Day After Day)

As information starts trickling out about 285 Kent’s possible closure, a weird update we somehow missed last week: Brokelyn dug up a petition someone put together demanding Jay-Z and Beyonce pony up “at least $1 million” to keep the place open.

Worth noting that we don’t actually know what the financial situation is, how much money is needed, or if it’s even a problem that can be fixed by having money thrown at it. We just that their lease is up soon and presumably getting more expensive, located as it is in a neighborhood where landlords are gleefully tripling rents and an expensive new development is going in across the street. Anyway, from the petition:

285 Kent is a landmark DIY venue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA, and it had the best programming and concerts in the city, and therefore the world. We need this venue in a neighborhood that used to function as a scion of outsider culture, to remind newcomers that not everything used to be so polished, nor does it have to be. Jay Z and Beyonce should donate at least $1 million to pay the curators of the venue to stay open because god damn this place ruled. We can call it Club Roc Nation, no one is arguing against that. If Dame Dash can have a weird underground venue in Manhattan, there’s no reason Hov and Bey shouldn’t step in to retain this amazing space for cultural posterity. When 285 Kent reopens, Grimes should play a week-long residency during which Todd P has to do pushups the entire time sound is happening.

 We get that this is supposed to be pretty tongue in cheek (or at least seems that way), but then, the idea of a DIY staying open by begging and scraping to billionaires with deep-rooted corporate ties in order to stay afloat is earnestly kind of a bummer. As is the fact that whoever wrote this couldn’t come up with anyone more interesting than Grimes for a hypothetical week-long residency. Really, there’s no part of this story that isn’t at least a little depressing.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here