Pacific Northwest DIY Institution the Department of Safety to Shut Its Doors for Good This Weekend

Pacific Northwest DIY Institution the Department of Safety to Shut Its Doors for Good This Weekend
Since it first opened in 2002, Anacortes, WA's Department of Safety has made a name for its strong DIY ethic, running a music venue, hostel, art gallery, recording studio and community space in a former fire hall. The venue has been a second home for Pacific Northwest indie rock icons like Phil Elverum, Calvin Johnson, Karl Blau, as well as a central hub for the annual What the Heck Fest. It has also fostered a deep relationship with Canadian artists, hosting many shows for Vancouver luminaries like No Kids, International Falls, the Poison Dart, No Gold and countless others. Sadly, the venue's organizers have announced they'll be shutting the space down at the end of the month.

In an email announcing the closure, the venue gave no reason as to why it was shutting its doors for good on Saturday (January 30), but did say that the Department of Safety will go out with one final show featuring performances from Phil Elverum, Karl Blau and Arrington de Dionyso.

Here's the full email, complete with an inspiring message for young people to get more involved in their own endeavours:

Dear Everyone,

The moment has arrived. It is a big deal. It is full of emotions. The Department of Safety is officially closing its doors at the end of this month.

That's in one mere week. We know this seems sudden to many of you, but be assured that it was not an impulsive decision. The past eight years with you have meant so much to us. It's hard to find words to express the magnitude of it. We are all incredibly grateful for what this building has brought into our lives and what it has created outside its concrete walls. Together with you, we made a magical place, always on the precipice. Thank you, sincerely, for contributing your energy into the nexus. We hope you felt it too. It's been a true honor. In the end, we feel awesome about it. So awesome.

On Saturday, January 30th, 2010, we will be having a farewell celebration.

Our friends Phil Elverum, Karl Blau and Arrington de Dionyso will playing music to send us off into the good night, and we would love for all of you to be there too. If you can't make it, send us your warm thoughts from wherever you are. We are collecting reminiscent stories, thoughts, and animated gifs if you feel like putting something into words/motion: [email protected]

Memory lane:
Anacortes will still be, and new ideas will have their turn.


Dear "Youth,"

Maybe you always wanted to move into the DoS someday, and you wanted to help make the project, and you believed, and now you feel like you have missed your chance... LISTEN! You have not missed your chance! Take that energy, get together with your ambitious, creative, project-oriented friends and make a thing! Make it about ideas and lifestyle and make your own rules and create something good! Make it in Anacortes or make it somewhere else. We will help you if you want help, but you don't need help. You can do it! Believe! Be inspired! It will be awesome!
'til death do us part...