Why You Need to Support the Camel Right Now

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Okay, everyone. This will probably be the most important thing you read on this site.

For years, local music venue The Camel has been a champion and supporter of Richmond’s music scene. Not only do they bring the best national and regional music to town across all genres, they also put the local scene first. From the Stay Sweet Fest to Underground with The Cheats Movement to my very own RVA Playlist Birthday Party, The Camel and its owner, Rand Burgess, was making sure the local scene thrived.

I’ve been frequenting the Camel for many years now and I’ve discovered some of my favorite bands – both local and national – by seeing them first on the Camel’s stage. It’s been nothing but a positive force in the community by providing a venue for not only musicians, but also artists, community activists, science speakers, fundraisers and more. When I tell out-of-towners about music in Richmond, the first name I always come up with is the Camel. It’s one of the main reasons the Richmond music community is getting stronger. It’s helping to put our talented musicians on the map.

But now the Camel needs our help.

If you haven’t been following the situation, The Camel currently operates under a special use permit with the City of Richmond that limits the hours the venue can play music. During the week, the Camel must end all music by 11 p.m. and by 1 a.m. on the weekends. This is not only limiting the amount of music in the venue, but also affecting the business financially.

The Camel has always been, in my eyes, a music venue first and bar second. People come to the Camel to see live music. Once the music stops, most people don’t have a reason to stick around and promptly leave. This results in lost revenue that the Camel could use to improve its business and bring in more acts.

Rand has been slowly trying to work with the city and neighborhood associations to bring this to a resolution. It’s been a long fight for him and it’s only going to continue.

This is where you come in.

Please consider helping out by showing some support. Sign this online petition to get the time changed: change.org/petitions/city-of-richmond-city-council-and-planning-commission-amend-the-camels-special-use-permit-to-allow-for-music-to-go-til-2am-nightly

There’s also a planning commission meeting Monday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. at Richmond City Hall (900 East Broad Street, Room 511). If you are able, please come out and show your support. UPDATE: The planning commission meeting HAS BEEN POSTPONED to Monday June 16 at 1:30 p.m.

I’m standing with the Camel. Please consider doing the same. Rand Burgess and the Camel have done so much for Richmond’s music scene. It’s only fair we give back.

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