Two popular live music venues located on the UCSD campus are about to lose core staffers. Yesterday, longtime Ché Café volunteer Gregory Prout announced on Facebook that he's taking a leave of absence from booking shows at the all-ages venue. Also on Tuesday, The Loft curator Elizabeth Bradshaw announced that she's leaving the venue to take a job as events specialist at Green Flash Brewing Company.
Prout, one of the core members of the all-volunteer collective that runs the Ché, manages the venue's finances, books many of the shows and often keeps the place running, manning the door and doing sound. On Facebook, he said he'll take an extended leave of absence from booking responsibilities after Aug. 31.
Read the whole statement here:
I've given it a lot of thought and I'm going to start bowing out of booking shows. I need to move on from the Che and focus on my career. I'm getting closer to 30 and have been volunteering at the Che for nearly ten years. As my boss told me this weekend "Even punks need to buy a house at some point." August 31st will be the last show I take RR for. I'm not saying I won't book more shows in the future, but I will be taking an extended leave of absence from those responsibilities.
Thank you to everybody that's ever been involved in this place and been a part of my life.
As for Bradshaw, she's been curating shows at The Loft since March 2008. In an email, she said she's a "sucker for new challenges" and couldn't resist taking the new job at Green Flash when the opportunity came along. We sent her some more questions, so check out our interview below. (We've edited it for length and grammar.)
CityBeat: Why are you leaving the Loft?
Liz Bradshaw: The million dollar question! I've been with The Loft for a little over four years, opened the space and completed four years of programming and hundreds of events. I'm incredibly proud of this space and the diverse programming we present—building programs is so exciting and I'm a sucker for new challenges so when a position came up at the Green Flash Brewing Company I couldn't resist. I almost feel like I went through a four year degree at UCSD and am graduating!!
I partially blame San Diego for being a huge hub of the craft beer industry—we're so lucky to live in a booming beer town!!
How is the Loft these days? Has it changed at all in the years you've been there?
I think the space and the programming has evolved and grown into itself over the years. Of course, the biggest change was when Zanzibar built out the restaurant and bar and opened in the second year. It goes without saying that having food and drink available brought in a great off-campus clientele and meant my staff no longer had to sell sodas from the back of the room! It's great to see what works, what is more challenging and the kinds of artists that the space really fits. I believe we lend ourselves well amongst others to boundary pushers, multi-media artists and singer-songwriters. The calendar also has a natural evolution as the students are such a large part of the programming and as they change-over so to can the type of events!
What'll you be doing at Green Flash Brewing Co.?
I'll be the Events Specialist so you will find me working with the in-house marketing team to coordinate the execution of events and festivals both in the brewery and off-site locally, regionally and nationally.
So, I take it you won't be putting on so many concerts anymore. What will you miss about that?
Not for the foreseeable future. I'll definitely miss the excitement that comes with booking artists that you're stoked about for whatever reason—either because you love them personally, or you know it will be a slam dunk, or because it's an emerging artist you think everyone needs to see! So great to be able to provide a platform for showcasing talent and you can't beat seeing a big crowd have a great time and knowing you helped make that happen.
What won't you miss about putting on concerts?
Haha, hmmm, well… It's hard for me to just go to a show and watch a band and just have fun—not be thinking about the logistics or looking at the turnout, listening to the sound and basically not being able to switch off and wondering if we can get them at The Loft next time! Maybe NOT putting on concerts will help with that but I'm not convinced!
Pick up next week's issue of CityBeat for an update on Prout's and Bradshaw's departures.