Nestled in between Washington D.C. and Richmond, VA, Springfield, Virginia isn’t a particularly populous town. Yet for any touring band, booking agent or manager, it’s been a must-stop destination for the last 20 years, due to the Empire (Jaxx for many years before that). A big destination for metal and hardcore bands, it changed hands in 2011, which was when they also changed names. Now, it turns out that the music’s stopping at the longtime venue, as they announced on Facebook that their last show will be on Tuesday, May 5th. Here’s statement from Jason Malhoyt, who ran the venue for the last few years:
Four years ago my team and I set out to create a venue, founded by musicians, to provide intimate and memorable nights for both artists and patrons alike – that venue was Empire. Today, I must tell you with a heavy heart that Empire will be closing it’s doors May 5th. I have been a promoter in DC/MD/VA for close to 10 years and have had the privilege of owning a successful all ages music venue that has allowed me to work with amazing artists, meet genuine people from all over the world and provide a place where anyone with a passion for underground music could attend and be welcomed with open arms. I have accomplished what I set out to do and have made a decision in my life to explore other interests within the entertainment industry. Empire would like to extend it’s deepest thanks to every single musician and patron who attended our shows and I would like to personally thank the great and hard working staff who dedicated their lives to help make Empire what it is. I am forever grateful to anyone that has helped me along the way. It was a truly incredible experience and has been influential in the lives of many and I hope that you will look back with us at the times you’ve spent at Empire and hold them close. As this chapter ends, a new one begins and the music will play on.
All schedule shows after May 5 will be moved to Canal Club in Richmond, VA. All current ticket sales via Ticketfly will be honored but if you are unable to attend please contact Ticketfly for a refund.
Jason Malhoyt / Empire
There’s no word on what the ultimate reason for the venue’s closing is, but if it was lucrative, Malhoyt probably wouldn’t have given the club up. A 2011 article from when Malhoyt and Jeff Cohen took over the club wondered whether it would continue to book traditional metal, given that the two worked at Outerloop Management. That seems to be beside the point now, with the venue closing. It’s unfortunate that the remaining shows booked there have been moved nearly two hours away to Richmond, and it appears Springfield is losing a music venue.