Douglasville, Ga., concert hall and Christian outreach center forced to move by state

Georgia music fans join campaign to keep music venue alive

By DREW AMANDOLIA

The 7 Venue in Douglasville, Ga., was told to vacate the building it has used the past eight years to make room for a Georgia Department of Transportation road project.

The venue was moved out by the end of the year so construction can begin on a new six-lane bypass.

The venue, started by Douglasville native Tony Hart, has been a major touring stop for metal and hard rock bands since it was founded in 2006. Hart and the 7 Venue’s volunteers tried to make the venue more than just a concert hall by feeding guests and taking the time to meet concert-goers personally.

“Our goal is to be a home away from home. Not just for touring bands, but also for children that come to shows and even local bands,” Jade Newell, a volunteer at the 7 Venue, said.

A Home Away From Home

The 7 Venue’s home away from home ideals made it one of the most popular venues in the metro Atlanta area for smaller touring bands. The venue had showers and free catering, and often let bands stay in the venue overnight for free. The venue also had free video games, and a skate park available to those who had bought tickets to a concert. After each concert, Hart would fire up a grill and make free grilled cheese sandwiches for whoever wanted one. The hospitality of the 7 Venue made it a favorite for local and touring bands from all across the world.

“The home away from home feel isn’t reproduced by any other venue in the U.S. or even the world, something I’ve heard from a lot of touring bands from all over. We provide help to bands on the road from the smallest smile to fixing their vans. We are there to serve the way God tells us to,” said Newell.

Kubali Kahn, a hardcore band from Texas, playing at the 7 Venue this October. Photo by Drew Amandolia
Kubali Kahn, a hardcore band from Texas, playing at the 7 Venue October 2013. Photo by Drew Amandolia

Music

The 7 Venue has hosted musical acts in almost every genre, but was known for its involvement in the metal and punk communities.

Justin Meers, the talent buyer and manager of the 7 Venue, said, “We mostly get teenage and young adults but we have people from every age group come through from time to time.”

The venue also prides itself on allowing local bands to have the opportunity to play in front of crowds. In addition to allowing locals to have their time, the 7 Venue also has had bands start there before having successful careers in the metal world. Artists like The Chariot and Norma Jean both started in the Douglasville area and have strong ties with the 7 Venue.

What’s next for the 7 Venue?

When the shutdown of the current location of the 7 Venue was announced, speculation came forth immediately about what would happen to the venue. Almost instantly, Facebook pages like “Not Without A Fight” were created to support the venue. The 7 Venue has plans to move to a new location and has launched a website where it is  accepting donations to help with finding and moving to a new space.

“The venue isn’t shutting down,” Meers said before adding, “We’re looking to find a new location in Douglasville and keep the vision alive.”

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