Musicians gather to save 'The Space' in Hamden - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Musicians gather to save 'The Space' in Hamden

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

They pride themselves on being an alcohol-free, safe space for children to enjoy live music.

Now, however, The Space in Hamden is in danger of closing its doors.

The Space opened 12 years ago. Steve Rodgers, the owner, told Eyewitness News that he recognized the need for a place for kids to go and experience music without heading to a bar.

Since then, he said it turned into somewhat of a haven for young musicians, giving them a literal space to hone their craft.

Rodgers said it started with a love of music. He toured and jammed with his own band, then wanted to give children a place to do that themselves.

"I opened it because there was no true place that was all ages and alcohol free,” he said.

The Space began first as a place for bands to play on the weekends. Then, it expanded into a recording studio with shows five to six nights a week.

"At one time there were so many kids lined up outside the door that we'd have to turn them away because we follow capacity laws and that sort of thing,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said he’s seen the crowds wane in recent years with the dawn of social media. He believes kids are turning to cell phones and computers for music.

Combine that with a rough winter of show cancellations and he said he had trouble covering his operating costs.

This weekend, the musicians Rodgers helped launch will be gathering to give the next generation the same opportunity.

"I'd be so sad to see it go,” said Ian Biggs, a musician. “My past is here and I want my future to be here, too."

Rodgers also owns The Outer Space in the same complex. He said some people have urged him to shut down The Space and focus more on the profitable venue.

But he said that’s not what it’s about.

"I feel like the space is so important for kids to be able to go see music in a safe environment that doesn't serve alcohol, where kids can come and engage with each other, create community with each other, and discover new bands and music," Rodgers said.

Starting on Friday, many of the bands will start coming together for a series of fundraisers to keep the music going.

The first benefit show is Friday night. For more information on that and other shows, click here.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help save The Space. That can be found here.

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