Save The Dark Roast: Benefit shows & Go Fund Me launched to preserve venue

Let’s save The Dark Roast not just because we love it, but because Chattanooga needs it.

At the end of March, the operators of The Dark Roast music venue took to social media with a plea for financial assistance, warning that without support, the club might be forced to relocate or close its doors. For five years, The Dark Roast has been a staple on Frazier Avenue, hosting a diverse array of bands and events.

In response, the local music community has stepped up. Fans, musicians, artists, and promoters flooded social media with expressions of support and inquiries about how they could help. Benefit shows are being organized, and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to alleviate the venue’s financial strain.

Importance of Small Music Venues

Similar to countless independent live music venues across the country, the post-pandemic economy has presented The Dark Roast with endless challenges. Rising operating costs—from rent and insurance to utilities and staffing—have outpaced revenue, creating a precarious situation. Yet, the prospect of losing such a vital cultural hub should not be taken lightly.

Small DIY venues like The Dark Roast are the heartbeat of a vibrant music scene. While sold-out shows at larger venues may garner attention, it’s the intimate spaces like The Dark Roast that nurture emerging talent and foster a sense of community. These venues provide a platform for artists across genres, from jam bands and hardcore punk to metal, offering a space for expression and experimentation.

Losing The Dark Roast would deal a significantly larger blow to the diversity and inclusivity of our local scene than losing whatever big festival plops down on the Riverfront for a weekend each year. A local band doesn’t build an audience on a festival stage—it’s in the small venues and dives where creativity thrives and musical connections are forged.

Running a music venue isn’t just about pouring drinks and hosting bands—it’s a labor of love that demands constant attention and financial resources. In an era of rising costs and economic uncertainty, the survival of venues like The Dark Roast is more precarious than ever.

Supporting The Dark Roast

As of now, the GoFundMe campaign has raised $1,455, a testament to the outpouring of support from the community. But there’s still work to be done. Every donation, no matter how small, brings us one step closer to ensuring that The Dark Roast remains a part of Chattanooga’s live music landscape.

If you’ve already contributed, thank you for your generosity. If not, please consider donating or attending a show to show your support. Let’s come together to ensure that The Dark Roast continues to enrich our lives and our local music scene for years to come.

Save The Dark Roast Bene-fest this weekend

This weekend, The Dark Roast will host the “Save The Dark Roast Bene-fest” music festival presented by Invictus Presents. Twenty-six bands will perform on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with food available from Final Girl Vegan Food and Hot Diggity Dog.

The entry fee for one day is $15, for two days it’s $20, and if you want to attend all three days of music, it’s $25. There are no online pre-sales, all ticket sales are at the door.

This is an all ages event.

Save The Dark Roast Bene-fest lineup graphic

April Show Calendar at The Dark Roast

April 12-14 Save The Dark Roast Benefest

April 17 Steaksauce Mustache, The Slow Attack, Black Inferno, Gift of Harvest

April 20 Koza, Apostle, Dead Justice, Cashajus

April 21 Drivel, Sad Roach, Field of View, Listening Skulls

April 26 Yates, Prest.Pill, R3lic, Funk The Empire