Cloud Nothings | photo by Lauren Rosier for WXPN
The Chameleon Club is closing; promoters promise a return in a new space
Lancaster is losing its longest-running homes for live music. The Chameleon Club posted tonight on social media that the venue’s time at 223 North Walter Street is over, “during uncertain times across the entire music industry.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the live music scene brutally, particularly for independent venues. In June, NPR shared a report that estimated that 90% of independent venues will not survive the Coronavirus industry shutdown without government assistance. The survey was conducted by the National Independent Venue Association, which has been advocating for relief since the spring with the #SaveOurStages hashtag.
Though the Chameleon’s Walter Street stage is sadly not one that will make it, the venue’s statement makes promises of a new home with the same level of show curation — they were known largely for pop-punk and heavy rock, with some hip-hop in the mix as well — and says “any show that was moved from 2020 due to Covid-19…will take place at our new location.” They wrote of tearing up as they put the statement together, and said “believe us – it was hard removing the iconic ‘Chameleon’ sign behind the main stage” but they note that the venue has moved locations before since its founding in 1985, and “the time to strike is now.”
“Countless national touring artists that would typically skip over a town the size of Lancaster have graced our historic stage. Additionally, local artists and bands have been a priority throughout our history; We have had the privilege to witness the rising careers of many artists from Lancaster and the surrounding area. We undoubtedly plan to keep that proud and storied tradition alive and well in Central Pennsylvania.”
Read the full statement here, and watch come clips from the Chameleon below.