The Rebel Lounge Is Closing Until the End of March

Cancel any plans you had to see a show at The Rebel Lounge this month.
Cancel any plans you had to see a show at The Rebel Lounge this month. The Rebel Lounge's Facebook
The Rebel Lounge is going dark for the remainder of the month. The midsize central Phoenix music venue announced via its Facebook page on Monday that it will close until April because of concerns over the coronavirus.

All concerts that were originally scheduled to take place in March at The Rebel Lounge have been canceled or postponed.

It is with great sadness that we have to announce the closing of the Rebel Lounge while we all grapple with COVID-19. Following the Arizona’s Statewide recommendation on cancelling events we will be closed through March, and possibly much longer.

One of the things we all love about live music is its ability to bring us together in hard times. We all know the joy a great concert can bring at the end of a hard week. How a great song can bring a smile to a crying face. We know how important community is and creating a place where everyone feels safe to come together has always been one of our main goals at Rebel. It is hard for all of us to wrap our head around the fact that in this particular crisis bringing our community together physically is not the solution. 

The news comes a day after Arizona Governor Doug Ducey strongly recommended halting all public gatherings of 50 more people. Last week, more than a dozen upcoming shows at The Rebel Lounge were canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus.

Stephen Chilton, co-owner of The Rebel Lounge, told Phoenix New Times that shutting down the venue temporarily made sense given the uncertainty of the current situation with the coronavirus outbreak.

“The statements I've seen are unclear on how long things will last, so we'll be dark until the end of March, and then, after that, I don't know,” Chilton says. “Going forward, we will then just try and get clarification on what we have to do past that.”

Even then, nothing’s completely certain for April and beyond, Chilton says.

“A lot of the artists are canceling or postponing shows well past [March] anyway,” he says. “If they're on tour right now, some are deciding to cancel the whole tour.”

The Rebel Lounge isn’t the only popular music venue to shut down in response to the coronavirus crisis. Last week, owners of Crescent Ballroom and Valley Bar announced both spots would cease concerts and music events until further notice. The Crescent’s in-house eatery Cocina 10 will still serve takeout orders for the time being.

Chilton says his venue doesn’t have that luxury.

“Unfortunately, for Rebel, we're straight-up an event space, so it's not like other places where they have a restaurant or kitchen to stay open,” Chilton says. “Without events, there’s no reason to be open.”
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.