Remembering The Blockley as an Eclectic Philly Venue

In the past it has been known as the Chestnut Cabaret, home to punk rock shows the likes of The Ramones and Nirvana, but since 2009 The Blockley has been a home to Philadelphia funk, indie, electronic, and rap music. Since 2009, famous acts like Talib Kweli and Ghostface Killah have made stops at the venue located in West Philly just outside of Drexel‘s campus. In addition to the great location and draw of world-renowned rap artists, The Blockley provided an intimate setting that turned any show into a eclectic party.

Unfortunately, The Blockley recently announced refusal of the renewal of their liquor license and the resulting closing of the venue before 2014. However, the venue went out with a bang over the past week, hosting a wide array of huge shows. On December 27th, they hosted Grateful Dead tribute band Splintered Sunlight, who put on their last set ever in a venue to which they are no stranger. The next day, local reggae band Long Miles brought good vibes with Boston’s own Spirtual Rez. The biggest farewell show came on the 29th, when The Blockley hosted  “A Funky Farewell”, a nine hour long show of numerous artists, headlined by the Everyone Orchestra (features members of moe.Lotus, and Lettuce).

Here’s what a few employees of the Blockley had to say about its closing on Facebook…

Jedd Buller, Promotions Manager, Box Office Manager, and Street Team Manager:

What saddens me the most about The Blockley closing is not that the job I’ve loved since November 2010 is ending, but the things people have been saying about it closing and all things I’ve been reading about how shocked everyone is. We’re all sad and feel like we’re losing a 2nd home… but at these last 4 shows, let’s not talk about that. Let’s not bring any negativity to that room. Instead, let’s enjoy these shows like it’s the first time you’ve ever been able to experience live music. Lets help each other remember the good times, and the effect that not only the staff and musicians had on Philadelphia’s music, but also how YOU – The Blockley community, YOU – The Blockley regular attendees has helped change the face of the music scene in the City of Brotherly forever.

Candice Johnson, Street Team Coordinator and Box Office Attendant:

Everyday there was like a dream come true. I couldn’t begin to express how much joy and happiness was spilled over me each day as I biked in the hot sun to my new found home. Anyone who knows me knows I have had a lot of different jobs but for once I was growing and improving my life while not having to be anyone but myself. And I thank The Blockley the most for that.

Jesse Soifer, Production Manager:

The outpouring of love from those who were apart of the Blockley professionally or even just for one night has been amazing. I see that we did more than I ever thought possible, even then. That stage provided me with the most profound learning experiences of my life. Some of the longest, hardest, back breaking, smiling, beautiful, friend-filled days anyone could hope for.

Check out this video of Ghostface Killah performing at The Blockley

See just how intimate these shows got with this video of Inspectah Deck

… and for you rockers here’s a video of Lettuce shredding at a packed show.

Finally, here’s a glimpse on how The Blockley went out on the 29th with the Everyone Orchestra.

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