Save the Bug Jar: Iconic Rochester music venue turns to public for support during pandemic

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(News 8 WROC photo/Matt Driffill)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A longtime staple of Rochester’s music community is turning to the public for support during the pandemic.

Save the Bug Jar is looking to raise $10,000 on a GoFundMe campaign, with more than $3,000 raised from 70 donors, as of 1 p.m. Tuesday.

The longtime events venue at the corner of Monroe Avenue and Broadway in the City of Rochester has been shuttered since the pandemic began locally in March.

With no kitchen on site to adhere to New York state’s COVID guidelines for bars and restaurants, the establishment relies exclusively on bar sales and performance revenue to stay afloat.

Since 1991, the Bug Jar has been a mainstay in the Rochester music scene, giving many local bands their first chance on stage, as well as hosting major touring acts such as The White Stripes, The Black Keys, Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Mac Demarco, and many, many more for nearly 30 years.

According to the campaign post:

“The purpose of this fundraiser is to help preserve a historic venue during these hard times.  Due to the covid-19 restrictions, the venue has been unable to open and host live music since March 2020. 

Since the shutdown we have applied to NIVA (National Independent Venue Association) which is lobbying congress to pass a bill which will help struggling music venues around the United States. In the meantime, we need your help. 

Funds raised from this campaign will go towards Rent and Utilities which we have not been able to keep up with since the shutdown.”

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