When I realized that I had to write another paper on a music venue in the DC area, I immediately thought of the concert I went to a few weeks back at the Fillmore. On the 13th of April, I went to see a hip-hop artist who goes by the stage name of Big Sean. Upon being admitted into the venue I was surprised by the bright lighting and exuberant colors as it felt like I was in an arena. This was only my second live concert or performance, and I was not sure what to expect but I knew that I was in for a fun night as I was going to be around some of my best friends in the world.
The Fillmore brings an energetic, high-end music, entertainment, and community use venue to the DC area. Although it is new to the area, it has a rich, cultivating history of illuminating some of the greatest musicians, bands, and comedians. Some of the different musicians include diverse acts such as Meek Mill, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and the Rolling Stones.
The original Fillmore Auditorium was named for its location at the corner of Fillmore Street and Geary Boulevard in San Francisco California. The original Fillmore was closed due to the earthquake in October of 1989. The newly constructed venue broke ground September 2, 2010 with its opening act from Mary J. Blidge whose performance sold out in a matter of hours. The venue was built on the site of the 1948 historic J.C. Penney Co. building.
Unfortunately, the Fillmore does not have much history in the DC area as it just opened in 2011. Bill Graham founded the Fillmore brand in the 1960s and this venue in the DC/Silver Spring area has 5 accompanying venues in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Detroit, and Charlotte. Before I was enrolled at the University of Maryland, I always used to hear about the much-anticipated arrival of the Fillmore because of the variety of artists that were on the upcoming calendar. When it came time for me to see an actual event at the Fillmore I wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity and maximize my time there.
The Lee development group was approached in 2007 with the idea of turning their property into a music venue. After several failed attempts in trying to make this property into a music venue, Live Nation signed a 20 year, 3.26 million lease with the county in January of 2008. Unfortunately, due to different stipulations that remain unnamed the venue was not able to open until 2010. When it did finally open, the Deputy of the county said, “The Fillmore is an investment well worth making. It activates a vacant storefront and makes money for the county and the state from the start. This exciting venue will create jobs and stimulate more business activity-as well as deliver great music. That’s especially important in today’s society.”
This actual venue in the DC area/Silver Spring does not have a great deal of history as it was just recently opened, but it has the potential to become a historic music venue with its diversity of music performances. It is located in a very prosperous area where there are several other museums and venues that are not associated with music but tie into history and culture. The owners of the project believe that it will have an impact on the economy and the surrounding areas. They have also looked in to expanding the venue as some of the more popular performances are sold out on a regular basis.
In terms of the space, the venue has a wide standing room that holds about 2,000 people in the main area. It features crystal chandeliers, hardwood floors, dark red painted, and historic rock art posters. There are about four or five different bar areas in the Fillmore, but I am only 19 so I was not able to access this feature of the venue. As I was watching the different patrons