less smoke, less rock?

posted by tom / January 20, 2006 /

Dante from the Black Cat was just on the usually banal Metro Connection outlining a consequence of the coming smoking ban that I hadn't thought about: crowds of smokers spilling onto the street between sets at his club. That seems likely to cause problems with the neighbors, who seem likely to raise a fuss, which seems likely to make DC an even more hostile place for our already scant rock club population. Drat.


I caught that show, too, and even thought about IMing you to tell you to turn it on. I agree, it's going to be problematic. I bet DC9 will be even worse off, since it's on a smaller, less traveled street with more housing in the immediate vicinity. And the 9th St sidewalks are narrow.

But after this ban kicks in, we might see one fortunate effect: maybe the city will close off traffic on 18th St on weekend nights. That would go a long way toward relieving sidewalk congestion, which ought to prevent a few fights. Worked in Austin. It's going to be awfully crowded on those 18th St sidewalks when the ban kicks in.

Posted by: Kriston on January 20, 2006 02:28 PM

Having lived in multiple smoke-free cities, I find that you don't see that many smokers outside of restaurants or bars. I think there may be a stigma associated with a large group of consciencious smokers. One or two seems to be the norm. Three starts getting weird and four is just awkward... so in the end, there are fewer people smoking outside. For example, there aren't cigarette smoking clubs for a reason... 'cause it looks stupid. Cigar clubs are for rich people... you don't see Bill the Hobo toking on a stogie, do you? And yes, we should use shame(TM) to get people to stop smoking.

Tobacoo, just say no.

Posted by: Tomas on January 20, 2006 03:39 PM

Tomas, I don't think that's the case @ a place like the Black Cat or DC9. They're rock clubs. There's no smoking stigma among the clientele. And the reason there aren't cigarette smoking clubs is b/c cigarettes aren't handmade, high quality products like cigars are. And they don't take an hour to smoke.

On the upside, now you'll be able to show up between sets before the headlining act and get a good spot up close.

Posted by: sqdc on January 20, 2006 04:09 PM

Yeah, I'm with sqdc on this one. Also, the scheduled nature of a show ensures that all the smokers will be trying to smoke at once. I doubt they'll be bothered by their own numbers during those breaks.

Posted by: tom on January 20, 2006 04:14 PM

I just realized I may be talking to some serious smokers here. How does rock music and smoking go hand in hand? Maybe these clubs lean heavier on the smoker clientele, but I can't imagine that many people having to smoke at once. Is it necessary to smoke at every possible opportunity? Is the addiction that bad?
I probably have a narrowminded view because I don't smoke. But after hearing a lot of people whine because their cities are going smoke-free, things just get better. I kind of like going to a rock club or a bar and leaving smelling just the same as when I went in. My point is, if there was a point to begin with, that all the whining about problems smokers will cause once a ban goes into effect is just silly.

Posted by: Tomas on January 20, 2006 05:04 PM

How does rock music and smoking go hand in hand?

Like snare and high-hat, if the Black Cat is any indication.

Posted by: Kriston on January 20, 2006 05:11 PM

I don't smoke (except the occasional cigar). People at rock shows drink and smoke, and it's been that way since the beginning of time. It's the way God intended it. I understand your views (b/c I've heard them a hundred times over through the course of the smoking ban debate) - but I can't imagine that you are genuinely suprised by the concentration of smokers in late-night rock 'n roll venues.

Posted by: sqdc on January 20, 2006 05:38 PM

So the Satellite Ballroom is smoke-free and we definitely experience a mass exodus of smokers between sets. Its a particular pain for us given that our exit leads into an alley that leads to a parking lot and drunken smokers mid-alley + pissed off drivers trying to park = mayhem most nights. Our ultimate plan is to establish a smoking lounge within the venue and then cease re-entry which will untimately lead to fewer underage kids getting wasted in the parking lot between sets and fewer irate drivers having to aviod our smoking patrons. We're kinda banking on VA being one of the last states to enact a smoking ban with this plan.

Posted by: Tom's sister on January 20, 2006 08:02 PM

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