Brittnie, Jackson, Grant and I were invited to come down to the Crocodile two Thursdays ago to chat about what they’ve done to convert the club into an all-ages thing. We were enticed with the prospect of what I assumed was complimentary pizza*. Grant couldn’t make it, so I declared myself the Stranger music editor and started asking questions.
At some point when Hunter, Marcus and Meli from the Croc were showing us around, they took us up to the mezzanine in the showroom or what I like to call, “that balcony that’s to the right of the stage… that I guess you can hang out on?” I didn’t really think you could go up there. There’s a staircase I knew about, but it totally feels like you’re going to get in trouble if you go up there. If there are people up there, to me, it’s maybe five or six, and I’m wondering if they have a VIP pass or not. They assured us that you can go up there, and that they’re using the mezzanine as part of their all-ages configuration.
Here’s how it works:
There will essentially be two different areas of the showroom that fluidly change their roles for each event. Let’s break this down into Zone 1 and Zone 2: Zone 1 is the main showroom floor and Zone 2 is the mezzanine and the standing area underneath, which is directly in front of the soundboard.
If you’re familiar with the Crocodile, you’re aware of that iron rail that sits about three feet to the West of the soundboard. That's getting moved so that it’s bumping up to the stage will act as a separator between the main floor and the standing area underneath of the mezzanine (Zone 2). Security will make sure people are carded before they move between the zones. You'll still come through the same entrance when you first enter the venue, but now a security person will card people and usher them to the proper zone.
Online ticket sales, and the percentage of which are underage vs 21-plus will dictate which age group goes where. If, say, 75 percent of tickets for an event sell to of-age customers, they get to stand in the Zone 1, and the underage people get to hang out in Zone 2. Both zones have bars that will be open or closed depending on who occupies them.
I kept asking whether or not people would maybe feel alienated or have a hard time seeing if they were hanging out on the mezzanine, something Hunter reiterated wasn’t a problem, because you can see fine, and it’s just that before people weren’t occupying the area below the mezzanine, even if the show was packed. You be the judge next time you go.
Overall, I think this is absolutely wonderful! This is one less Seattle venue that doesn't have to be worried about losing money from having all-ages shows and one more venue that folks under 21 don't have to feel alienated from. My friend Savannah (who is 19, lives in Tacoma) was able to see our mutually favorite band Parenthetical Girls last Thursday!
Great job for being on top of this, Crocodile!
*we didn't get any complimentary pizza but Brittnie and Jackson did get complimentary booze. I don't drink alcohol.