When the 9:30 Club finally reopened its doors after the long COVID shutdown with Foo Fighters in 2021, Dave Grohl let it slip that I.M.P. was going to open a new, smaller venue fashioned as a near replica of the original 9:30 Club, where he got his start. He gave no additional details – just that it was going to happen – and added, “We’ll probably be the band that opens that place, too, right?”
Well, of course, Dave was right. I.M.P., the independent promoter that owns and operates the 9:30 Club and The Anthem and operates The Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion just announced that Foo Fighters will inaugurate The Atlantis on May 30th, 2023 – the 9:30 Club’s anniversary. 9:30 is both a time and a place, but before the original 9:30 Club opened its doors at 930 F Street, NW on May 30, 1980, it was briefly home to another venue: The Atlantis. Now, The Atlantis is back.
As I.M.P. looks to the future with its new $10 million, 450-capacity venue, history is front and center. Walk in and prepare to turn the clock back to the original 9:30 Club, sans the gargantuan rats and notorious stench, but with a nod to the infamous pole.
“We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other peoples’ venues for too many years now,” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. “We needed a place that’s ours. This can be the most exciting step in an artist’s career. This will be where we help introduce new artists to the world, and their story needs to be told right. Our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully long-term relationship, and we as promoters do better too.”
When Foo Fighters kick off this new era of The Atlantis, Dave Grohl won’t just be christening the room – he’ll be honoring the legacy of a space that he attended as a kid and later took the stage of with bands like Scream and Nirvana.
Speaking on stage at the 9:30 Club that night in September 2021, Grohl called the original 9:30 Club “Our church,” saying, “That’s where we got to see every f***ing band… That’s where we all played first. That’s where R.E.M. played first. That’s where the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers played first. That’s where Nirvana played first… Magic happened in that room. And if the new room has the same vibe as the old 9:30 Club, you’ll see some real magic there, too.”
The Atlantis will usher in the 9:30 Club’s 44th year with a massive 44-show run dedicated to its history, its present, and its future.
“After the opening series, our intention is to book only the shows that matter,” said Hurwitz. “We want people to rely on us to tell them that someday you will say you saw them when. We have no calendar to fill. We will curate like no other venue.
“But, as the response from the artists has been crazy, it looks like we will have returning big acts that want to play here well beyond the opening 44,” continued Hurwitz. “And these are some brave artists that want to play here. There is no production to hide behind.”
“There is nothing like seeing a great act in a small venue,” said Hurwitz.
Tickets for the inaugural run of shows will be $44 each, non-transferrable, and will be sold via a lottery-style process with protections to ensure real fans attend the shows. To thwart scalping, The Atlantis is utilizing Ticketmaster Request for the inaugural run of shows, which is open now at TheAtlantis.com and will run through Friday, April 7 at 11:59pm ET. Fans will learn next week if their ticket requests have been fulfilled. If a ticketholder is unable to make the show, a fan-to-fan face-value ticket exchange option will be available.
The Atlantis will be booked by Zhubin Aghamolla, who also books The Anthem and Merriweather Post Pavilion, and Sam Hurwitz has been named The Atlantis’s general manager. Sam has served as Front of House Manager for The Anthem since 2018. Prior to that, he worked across nearly all departments including door staff, merch, production, bartending, box office, and booking for the 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre.