Another venue of the Red River Cultural Heritage District is the formwork. Just hours after neighbors Plush and Barracuda announced they would be closing, Scratchouse announced to its social media that they too would be saying goodbye.
“We are so grateful for the years you have spent with us and for the amazing community of artists that have gathered in our space,” the Instagram page says. “It’s a shame that high rents and COVID-19 are crowding out so many venues, but Austin’s artistic community will stay alive even if prices are outside of downtown.”
Scratchouse opened in 2016 and is located in a room that once housed the Beauty Bar and Holy Mountain. The 18-year-old club became home to local hip hop, electronic, and dance acts.
The termination of SXSW and the stay-at-home order initiated March 13 has hit the Austin business community hard, and the local music industry is particularly vulnerable to closings during this time as many venues have struggled with downtown rents to pay.
In late March, Scratchouse created a GoFundMe to keep its doors open. However, the fundraiser only raised $ 3,280 from its original goal of $ 10,000. “We have always been proud to support the underground music scene and culture,” said the fundraiser. “We have done so much for the local artist and scene, and we need your help in these dark times.”
The venue promised to run livestream shows to “keep the music alive,” but it was ultimately not enough to keep the venue running throughout the pandemic.
“We love all of our supporters and are forever grateful for their support,” wrote the operators. “They give us the opportunity to create a safe culture that everyone can enjoy. The underground movement has provided family and heart to so many people that they expect us to make it. “