While El Club regulars couldn’t enjoy live shows as they did pre-pandemic, the Southwest Detroit music venue found new ways to provide joy and support to the community over the past year.
Just two weeks after Michigan went into lockdown, El Club began offering free pizza to food-insecure families. It served as a voter registration site for two days in October. Free meals were passed out on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the club hosted free COVID-19 testing between January and April.
In return, metro Detroit stepped up to support the venue’s own efforts to stay afloat. It launched a temporary web store for merch with 100 percent of proceeds benefitting its staff of 16 — the product sold out in days.
Locals also quickly bought up the venue’s limited-edition Vans sneaker, a collaboration with the company’s Foot the Bill pandemic relief initiative and local artist Freddy Diaz. And to get folks looking forward to its eventual return, El Club offered show packages for future performances that also sold out.
Speaking of its return, El Club will be back with live shows in just three months, beginning with British indie pop singer-songwriter-poet Arlo Parks on Sept. 29. “This is giving me [so much] hope!” an Instagram user raved about the show. “I miss El Club, concerts, and people so much.”
No doubt many metro Detroiters share that sentiment.
For more information, visit elclubdetroit.com.