At the end of March, punk music venue Miami Chum Bucket opened with the chaotic roar of powerviolence virtuosos Gorilla Pussy and the wild churning of an inaugural, nonstop mosh pit. But less than two months after its grand opening, the punk oasis came under fire from the police, and its future is still uncertain.
New Times supports Miami Chum Bucket. So the five following tips come from a place of well-meaning advice. These are things we truly believe will keep the Chum Bucket open and help it thrive.
Change location. The current spot — right in the middle of a residential neighborhood and next to an elementary school — screamed "Heat up!" from the second we first saw it. Also, though situated in an eastern part of Allapattah, the location is still too far from the much-mythologized Biscayne Corridor. There are lots of warehouses and multipurpose spaces from downtown up to 79th Street, all along Biscayne and over into the lower northwest avenues. So why not capitalize on the existing arts and entertainment warehouse district bubbling just a little farther east?
Miami Chum Bucket
Implement an underage drinking policy. Chum Bucket models itself after Berkeley, California's 924 Gilman, and we believe that is a worthy ideal. The venue has been open since 1986, and it's a storied punk rock institution. But a great deal of Gilman's success is its strict policy on drinking and drugs. Somehow, despite the Chum Bucket's membership cards, posted rules, and volunteer staff, the venue failed to include this particular provision in its charter.
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Procure grant money. With a nice central location and a strict all-ages policy, Chum Bucket will be quite the legit organization. The crew has already demonstrated incredible fundraising prowess. Its audience is massive and enthusiastic. All of this makes Chum Bucket a perfect candidate for the same kind of arts/entertainment funding so much of Miami depends on. Take a look at the Knight Arts Challenge grant or Miami New Times MasterMind Awards.
Expand beyond Facebook. Though Facebook seems to be humanity's new cultural matrix, it would be worthwhile for Chum Bucket to drum up a web presence outside that social-networking site. What about people without Facebook accounts? If they want to learn about the venue, they need to sign up, which is a weird stipulation for a punk venue to pose: "You gotta get on Facebook if you wanna keep up!" Of course, the Bucket shouldn't swear off Facebook. But a real miamichumbucket.com could be kinda cool as an archive of events, a resource with FAQs and policies, and maybe even a message board that could enhance the venue's operations.
Continue to book awesome punk shows. We need to give credit where it's due. Chum Bucket has done an excellent job of bringing a steady stream of out-of-town artists to South Florida. Anyone from Miami is an expert in the region's isolation. And New Times heartily welcomes any venue that helps connect us to the rest of the nation. Keep up the good work.