Another Iconic Montreal Venue Is Permanently Closing Because Of High Rent & Taxes Downtown

Another local music venue bites the dust.
Staff Writer
High Rent In Downtown Montreal Forces Iconic Montreal Venue To Permanently Close
  • Citing high taxes and rent in downtown Montreal, Coop Katacombes has announced it is permanently closing at the end of 2019.
  • Over the course of its 13-year history, the venue became an iconic space showcasing local talent.
  • Katacombes isn't the first venue to either shut down or move because of skyrocketing costs.

Another Montreal music venue just announced that it will be forever closing its doors. Citing high rent in downtown Montreal, Coop Katacombes, an iconic local music and events venue, announced it will be closing in December. 

Katacombes hosted some 2000 shows in its 13-year history. Primarily known as a venue that hosted punk, goth, and industrial music events, Katacombes was also known for hosting the Just For Laughs Zoofest, among others.

This is sad news for local musicians and artists as Katacombes is yet another in a long line of local music venues that had to close its doors due to high rent and taxes. 

The news was announced via a Facebook post last night. Montrealers have already reacted negatively to the news. "I’m so saddened by this news, Katacombes was and is one of the most significant venues in my life and I’ll never forget what it’s brought me and the city," says one Facebook commenter.

Despite its outward gothic appearance, Katacombes welcomed people from all walks of life and was a hub for community events in the area. Throughout November and December, Katacombes will be hosting a series of farewell shows before finally closing up on December 31. 

Katacombes owners cite sky-rocketing rent prices and high operational taxes in downtown and the Plateau as the main reason why the venue is shutting down.

This isn't the first time a local music venue has had to close for those reasons. High rents along the Main forced the Divan Orange venue to close last year. 

I've frequented the venue many times to see stand-up comedy events or attend shows and it was always welcoming, focused on maintaining rigorous "safe-space" standards.

Montreal musician Raya V. Dracooler tells MTL Blog that "Katacombes is unlike any other venue in Montreal. It's very sad news. You can't find this kind of goth aesthetic anywhere else in Montreal." 

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Over the years, Katacombes has hosted an eclectic collection of artists and musicians. Comedians such as Marc Maron and Donald Glover performed some of their first shows at Katacombes. It was also one of the only venues in the city where you could see black metal bands, alternative punk, and goth groups. 

Local musician Mosquito Mike from the band The Sunset Drip says, "I played at Katacombes with local punk legends Dayglo Abortions back in the day. Very sad to hear that there will be another venue dropping off the map."

"I've seen near 100 shows there. The place had some of the best lighting and sound in the city. [It] made it possible for local bands to play to over 170 people if they did their thing right and overall just made the local experience seem a little bigger," he tells MTL Blog. 

Katacombes filled an important role in the city of Montreal. As both a coop and a music venue, the multi-faceted space was an icon in the scene. With seemingly no other venue to assume that mantle, the closure of Katacombes comes as sad news to many local artists. 

"Without Katacombes, I would have never discovered some of the city's best leather and stud hardcore bands," says Mike. 

Katacombes will forever close its doors on December 31, 2019. Throughout November and December, the venue will be hosting a series of farewell concerts. 

For more information, visit their official Facebook page

Teddy Elliot
Staff Writer
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