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Closure of The Station on Jasper a devastating blow to local musicians

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Musicians and live music supporters are mourning the loss of another Edmonton concert venue.

After five years, The Station on Jasper suddenly posted on social media Friday saying it was hanging up its microphone and closing for good.

"Our team has been nothing but superb," the live music venue said. "We can't thank them enough.

"A lot of amazing musicians shared their talents on our stages with a lot of Edmontonians - and we are proud to have been part of that."

Band Violet Riot played their first live show at The Station. Colton Taylor and Karli Romyn fondly remembered the experience.

"They were wonderful and the staff were amazing," Taylor said. "We are going to miss them."

"The venue is beautiful. The stage is set up so perfectly," Romyn echoed. "The sound was amazing too."

CTV News Edmonton reached out to The Station for more information but has yet to hear back.

For Steve Derpack, concert promoter and live music coordinator, The Station closing is part of a larger concerning trend.

He got into live music right out of high school in the early 90s and said only some of the venues from that era remain, except for The Starlite Room.

"There are a lot of pop-up places that come and go over time," Derpack said. "There are lots of places that do open stages, that do open mic night or throw up a microphone in the corner of a restaurant, but in terms of venues, there are not as many as there used to be."

The COVID-19 pandemic challenged the industry, which already has razor-thin margins, he says.

"It changed the face of everything," Derpack added. "It really, I think, redefined how people viewed their energy levels and their priorities and what they were able to do."

"COVID hit everything so hard that it's been a massacre watching all these venues close," Taylor echoed. "I hope things get better soon… Losing another stage is devastating."

Derpack, who works for JCL Productions, found out about the closure Thursday afternoon and has been scrambling to rebook some of the pre-Juno award shows.

"People in the community are amazing," he told CTV News Edmonton. "We don't have a lot of venues, but the people that are here have been outstanding."

While The Station was a smaller and more intimate venue, Romyn says having stages like that is essential for local artists looking to cut their teeth.

"Starting out small, your draw is a little bit smaller," she added, "but as you work as a band, over time, your crowds get a little bit larger."

"It just takes away from the community's opportunity to get out there and put their music out."

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