FREE THE GATEWAY
FREE THE GATEWAY
The Gateway is a unique, 2 stage venue that wants to continue spreading music, art, and diversity to the community and DIY scene.
The Gateway is a unique, 2 stage venue that wants to continue spreading music, art, and diversity to the community and DIY scene. Read more
The Gateway's Story
The Gateway is a unique, two stage music venue on the BedStuy/ Bushwick border. We host bands, Dj parties, raves, rooftop shows, performance art, karaoke, drag shows, and have monthly LGBTQ/POC/WOC parties. The Gateway was adopted from the West Indian nightclub St. Lucian Paradise. Our mission has been to keep DIY alive without pushing out the locals.
We specifically design our programming to include artists of all backgrounds and musical styles. We feel we have accomplished our goal of bringing diversity to the DIY scene by creating a safe space for people of all walks of life.
We worked hard to do things by the book and keep things above the table. Instead of cutting corners and taking shortcuts, we have obtained all required licenses, certificates, and operate a safe, legal venue that benefits the community. We received an overwhelming approval by the Community Board and have returned the favor by giving back whenever possible by hosting monthly benefit shows where we give 100% of door and bar sales to a local charity/cause.
What did it take to make The Gateway what it is today ?
We didn’t come in with our million dollar plans and investors. We used to live over at Hot 97, a former DIY space on Hart and Wyckoff, and were paid to move out of that space. We took this money with some savings and put it all into The Gateway.
The vision for the second floor was brought to life by the help of some close artist and musicians friends that believed in our vision. With blood, sweat and beers, we opened this floor with no permits or licenses and starting throwing shows. At the same time, we started renovating the main floor and basement and eventually became the three floor venue you’re familiar with today. We are a space of growth, we slowly made improvements over time.
Everything The Gateway is today is because of our community that has invested their time and energy into creating the space. We’re here because bands, artists and promoters saw our potential and spread the word. In return, we have opened up our stages many times to house shows that needed a home when the higher institutions threatened our neighbors existence. We have helped bring art and music to a community and we are able to live out our dreams because of you guys.
What Happened ?
Last week The Gateway was forced to shut its doors because of the inevitable: we did not have enough money to sustain ourselves and avoid eviction because of large fines and burdens from the days before we obtained all our required permits and licenses. We were able to pay off a lot of debt this year but still had a cloud lingering over our head. We asked our landlord for five extra days to get through our biggest weekend of the year, he denied us and took it as a opportunity to collect everything we owe him at once.
When we first opened, our landlord informed us the roof would be okay to use. The roof is up to code, however because the certificate of occupancy lacks a legal use for the roof, people cannot be up there, so The Gateway was given a 22k fine.
In addition, multiple fines from The Mayor’s March (the Building Department, Fire Department, Health Department, Police Department, Environmental Control Board, and The State Liquor Authority, simultaneous raid with 30+ people in uniform from all departments) which is a mandatory inspection for clubs our size, have hindered The Gateway’s growth. This is the same inspection which shut down Palisades and many other spaces. Our space could not grow because it was financially crippled with thousands of dollars in fines which also made us fall behind on rent last year.
The Fire Department : $5,000 for a Dj using a smoke machine without our permission which set off the fire alarm
The Department of Buildings: $22,000 for roof fine and also for two amps that were obstructing the hallway for the exit according to the DOB. (Obstruction of an egress is normally The Fire Department’s responsibility)
Environmental Control Board : $2,000 for noise level being 2 decibels above the legal level. They take a measurement outside the building to test how high noise levels are. The Gateway is under the JMZ train, our neighbors are used to noise, we haven’t had any noise complaints, another bs fine.
State Liquor Authority : $3,000 pled no contest to pre-mixing cocktails. One of our bartenders unknowingly pre-batched a cocktail on a busy night (the same night of The Mayors March)
What we plan to do with the money + our goals for the future
With the 40K goal from your donations we plan to pay off the outstanding fines and the rent we owe for the closed month of May.
If we’re lucky enough to exceed our goal, we will put it towards improving the following:
Legalize the roof, this means we will be adding to our capacity overall. In order to do so, we will have to file for “Place of Assembly”. We were quoted from an architect: $15,000.
Fix the HVAC system, heating/cooling for the building : $3,000
Upgrade the sound system and backline so we can provide a higher quality experience for our patrons and artists: $10,000
Upgrade the electrical panels on both floors to avoid power failures during shows: $6,000
The Gateway is one of the few legal, safe, up-to-code music venues that still carries DIY values. It’s always hard to say goodbye to a place you love. The recent loss of Shea Stadium and Silent Barn has been felt throughout the community, many artists are left without a place to perform. We have always helped out our neighboring venues with double bookings, we also helped venues that shut down find new spaces. With the loss of our two stages, the scene loses a home for artists, musicians, and weirdos that we call family. We've been through A LOT and love what you've helped us create. We hope our community will support us through this vulnerable time of need. Please donate and help us not suck <3
Risks and challenges
At the end of the day we don’t own the building, so we’re still at the mercy of our landlord. But we're very confident that our programming and structure will sustain us and allow us to eventually purchase the building.
Our neighborhood is going to change dramatically when the L train shuts down, aligned with the city changing the zoning along Broadway to a R7, meaning you can build up to 7 flights now. City development like this is good for us in some ways but with the four new giant buildings on Lexington we fear noise complaints will be a possible battle. With noise complaints come frequent visits from the police department and Environmental Control Board.
The Gateway is one of the few music venues that had a Cabaret License before the law changed, full sprinkler system, and are 100% up to code with the exception of the use for the roof on the Certificate of Occupancy. We are confidant we will legalize the roof and have no more battles with the DOB. The Mayors March will be back. We get better and better at defending ourselves against the city but they will always find a way to tax us. It’s up to us to keep taxing to a minimum and we've done a good job at that since the last inspection. We believe after we raise money from this campaign we will be able to overcome these obstacles and keep hosting events we consider the future of Brooklyn DIY.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (14 days)