Kim Gordon, Black Dice, Palmbomen II and Peaking Lights had all performed at the warehouse-style space.
Following last December’s tragic fire at Oakland’s Ghost Ship warehouse, DIY venues across the US have been under increased scrutiny from authorities as part of a nationwide crackdown. Now LA’s Non Plus Ultra is the latest DIY live music space to be shut down by officials.
As LA Weekly reports, city building inspectors notified the venue of its fate last Thursday (March 2), just before beloved SF band Thee Oh Sees were about to take to the stage to perform.
Non Plus Ultra is registered as a nonprofit organization and located in a warehouse space in the Virgil Village neighbourhood of the city. It’s rented by a collective of LA artists and was fitted with a sprinkler system and fire extinguishers. According to reports, the inspectors told Non Plus Ultra that the space was lacking in the correct permits required to host live shows. It’s notoriously hard and expensive to secure a legal live music permit in LA.
A statement on the venue’s website explained that the gig was “cut short after a city inspector notified us that continuing to operate will result in criminal charges.”
Non Plus Ultra opened as a DIY arts space in September 2014 and has hosted gigs by the likes of Kim Gordon and Black Dice, with crowds generally reaching around 150, although some high-profile shows have peaked at 350. It also doubles up as a part recording studio and the venue says it will continue to operate as a filming location, recording studio and workspace in a new location.
“We have already begun the search for new locations that can better accommodate the live music experience we strive to provide,” the venue wrote on its website. “Non Plus Ultra is still available as a filming location and workspace. The stage and our separate multitrack recording room will remain set up for multitrack live session recording.”
Non Plus Ultra is accepting donations at NonPlusUltra.us to help finance its move to a new space.