IMC provides new home for Error House events

Many are painfully aware of the hardships that come along with being a musician. It is difficult for local bands to find places to perform and practice their music with age restrictions on venues and constant threats of noise violations within residential areas.
Until recently, Nathan Landolt’s Error House, 505 Haines Blvd., C, has served as a safe haven for music, being a reliable and independent venue for local and traveling musicians alike without the legal hurdles of alcohol to threaten the music.
Officially shut down by Champaign County Zoning Administrators more than a week ago, Error House can no longer provide a port in the storm for many musicians, emphasizing CU’s struggle to balance music and neighborhood peace.
“The [Error] House was in a single family residentially zoned district,” Kevin Phillips, Champaign County’s zoning administrator, said as to why Error House was closed. “They were hosting concerts and charging admission, and that amounts to running a business. That’s not permitted in that district.”
With canceled show dates, Error House and the bands it scheduled have been looking for a new venue — but independent all-ages venues are next-to-none in CU, and residential areas are less than happy to welcome more noise. “I understand that most can’t afford a space all by themselves. That would be too much for a small organization like that,” Phillips said. “If they were to find a place that was not busy all the time and was able to use that space from time to time for their events, it would all be perfectly legal.”
Fortunately, Urbana’s Independent Media Center (IMC) may be just the place for Error House’s remaining shows. Tommy Griscom, Booking director for IMC and frequenter of the Error House, gives testament to the venue and its value to the local music community.
“At places like the Error House or Independent Media Center, we generally don’t serve alcohol. That is the biggest difference — it changes the market,” Griscom said. “[Error House] was a place for kids to go to that is safe, fun, drug and alcohol free to see cool bands. It was a intimate space where you didn’t have to deal with alcohol that traditionally comes with a venue.”
IMC and other smaller venues look forward to working with Error House and the hopeful future of the music scene within CU. Error House’s July 7 show featuring four bands was moved to IMC, while other events put on by Error House have also found alternative venues.
“I’m really saddened to see that it got shut down,” Griscom said. “I hope we can expand out and work in other areas, or hopefully get Error House back.”

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