Grrrnd Zero is a bunch of naïve enthusiastic volunteers / activists with no leader, whose ambition is to develop an open and fastidious auto-run space dedicated to underground / unconventional / DIY / alternative arts in Lyon, France. Grrrnd Zero did hundreds of insane shows in the past seven years.
Most of the Amour & Discipline crew is highly involved in Grrrnd Zero.
Grrrnd Zero sure is a strange venue :
- We try to offer affordable rates, from free donation (for example, we hosted Deerhoof, Tune Yards, Dirty Projectors, Black Dice or Deerhunter on a free donation basis) to €10 maximum (for big bands such as Animal Collective or A Silver Mt Zion), and people who don’t have enough are welcome anyway.
- Promotors of an event can keep the benefit from the tickets and bar. They just have to give a small contribution to Grrrnd Zero.
- The audience doesn’t have to drink or eat what they’re offered at the bar. Anyone can bring their own food or drinks.
- We do not use professional security services.
- Our wish is to spread underground culture beyond the limited circle of those who are already on board. This is why we keep handing out flyers and pasting up posters in the streets, the subway, universities, everywhere.
Problem is, the city hall of Lyon wants to evict us.
So we need you to write an email to the city of Lyon on the behalf of Grrrnd Zero. You just have to ask the city hall to help find us another place. We need it to evidence the significance and reach of Grrrnd Zero beyond Lyon, as part of a broader global DIY community.
In order to motivate you, here come two video compilations of shows at Grrrnd Zero:
. Un futur bien peinard (A Cushy Future): Kickball / Deerhoof / Xiu Xiu / Fat 32 / Black Dice / Animal Collective / François Virot / Kickball / Daniel Higgs / Ours Bipolaire.
. Fin du monde bientôt (The End is Nigh): Melt Banana / Pneu / Deerhunter / Clara Clara / Lighting Bolt / Chewbacca / Volcano The bBar / Pif Le Chiant.
Please stream, download and above all share them as much as possible.
And if you like them, why not consider writing to the city hall of Lyon ?
A CUSHY FUTURE / UN FUTUR BIEN PEINARD
Download Un Futur Bien Peinard Video (right click+save as)
THE END IS NIGH / FIN DU MONDE BIENTÔT
Download Fin du monde bientôt Video (right click+save as)
Should you send an email to the City Hall, Brad Pitt and Beyoncé will most likely perform belly dances on your kitchen table and you will be granted a million well-deserved dollars, transferred directly to your account from the president of a Nigerian bank. However, if you don’t send it to anyone and don’t write a letter of support, your children will perish, and passers-by will spit on their corpses.
Thanks a million. Please share this article. We will sing your praises for all eternity.
But first, what is Grrrnd Zero?
Grrrnd Zero started in 2004. This period was a nightmare for the underground scenes in Lyon. The only places where people could listen to experimental/fabulous/crazy music had been closed by the authorities.
Then, after months and months of cultural nothingness and despair, we decided to break some locks and to squat a big abandoned old house belonging to the city hall. One month after we entered the place, fifteen days after finally obtaining electricity, we did our first show: the mongoloidest punks in the universe, Lightning Bolt. Quite an intense experience.
After a big street/media/legal battle, we convinced the city hall to lend us a new venue devoted to underground cultures. Grrrnd zero unites now thirty organizations, who organize about a hundred concerts, exhibits and screenings each season.
More than 40 bands share the rehearsal spaces Grrrnd Zero provides, but also office and residency areas, screen-printing and photography studios, several record labels, a movie collective…
Since we arrived in the premises, we have always expressed our commitment to adapt the building to safety standards; the city counselors have always rejected these efforts, without suggesting any other solution.
This situation endured until July 20th 2011, when an eviction notice was addressed to us : we had to leave the premises by October 31st. After negotiating with the city council and the inter-communal cooperation (that had just become the “owner” of our walls…), the deadline was extended to the end of 2012. Hosting any public was nevertheless forbidden.
Until we find a new place, almost our entire program has to be cancelled, and what’s left of it is scattered off-site. The city’s response to our dilemma is suggesting we rent the “usual” venues, which does not fit our philosophy (i.e. reasonable pricing at the bar, no search at the entrance), venues that couldn’t possibly host our entire program.
We insist on maintaining all of our activities on a sole site at any cost. A collective approach is the strength of our project : creating the right conditions to share the space, to make people or audiences meet, and to maintain a multiplicity of offerings, all ideas which are indeed of importance to the politicians of our city except, paradoxically, when they are embodied in a single place — then they become disturbing.
To keep it up, Grrrnd Zero needs one, single place.
In these confusing times, we still don’t know whether a project can be constructed with the city council, or whether we must go back to squatting as in the beginning.
By revolving most of its cultural policies around a few highlighted occasional events, the city council of Lyon is turning its back on a wide network of local organizations, those which refuse the commercial exploitation of the arts and its constant need for profit. All of these organizations are essential to the dynamism of the city, on a daily basis.
We are hoping the city council will realize the need for such a place, dedicated to all who participate in the Grrrnd Zero project, in other words, a huge part of the alternative/underground cultural life of our city. But the city council may not realize this on its own…
Ok, so how can people help?
We are putting together different types of actions, including a call for support in the form of a letter addressed to the mayor of Lyon and to the deputy in charge of cultural affairs: Gérard Collomb and Georges Képénékian.
Here are a few steps you can follow:
- Feel free to write any kind of letter! Even a few lines explaining the importance of a place dedicated to alternative culture in Lyon will do, but vibrant long letters are also welcome, if you’re in the mood for it. If you don’t have the time, don’t hesitate to use anything in this letter.
- Please don’t forget to specify who you are! What you do, if you are part of an organization, band…
- Send a mail to email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (please include “Grrrnd Zero” somewhere in the mail subject). Or send a real letter to: Gérard Collomb, please be a cool dude – Mairie de Lyon – 1, place de la Comédie – 69205 Lyon cedex 01 – somewhere in France
In addition to flooding the mayor’s office with sense, these letters are compiled to be part of our activity report. We’d be grateful if you could send us a copy of your mail or letter at :grrrndzero[at]gmail[dot]com.