22-Dec-2016 (Thu) Wherein we thank you!

This is just a short update to give you all our heartfelt thanks for the outpouring of support that has come in after Monday's bad news. It's really heartening to hear that so many of you love this place as much as we do. Rest assured, we're doing everything in our power to keep it going.

Many of you have expressed interest in some kind of membership program, so we will definitely be doing that. Whether it's Patreon or Gofundme or an in-house thing remains to be determined, but figuring all that out is on the short list.

If you have reached out to us in some way and we haven't gotten back to you yet, my apologies -- we're working on it! We have a lot of messages to sort through right now. (This is a very good problem to have.)

In the meantime, keep spreading the word, and keep coming to our events. And keep the suggestions coming.

Thank you all!

PS: As long as I've got your attention, how about you follow us on the social media? Telling your friends about our events is one of the most effective ways you can help!

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26 Responses:

  1. Jim Sweeney says:


  2. Furr Bear says:

    As I don't live in the Bay Area I've never been to a show at DNA Lounge (though I have friends who have) - but I have eaten at DNA Pizza several times and hope that remains an option for a long time to come!

  3. Claudia Medecki says:

    I was an original gold card member way back in the beginning. I haven't lived in the city for some time but still have good friends I made there. One of my fondest memories is sitting on the stairs and having Prince come sit next to me following his Oakland show before he played a surprise set there. I'd love to help however I can. If you need someone to help out with anything please count on me. I'm in Milpitas now but would gladly help organise however I can. Fund raising, database input, work the door...all for free of course.

  4. B. Babbitt says:

    This is indeed promising news. If a membership platform is an option in the future, sign me up. I live in the foothills, but I always make special trips to DNA whenever I can.

  5. Tina13 says:

    Would DNA lounge/ pizza consider selling the posters hanging in the restaurant? Then changing it up with new ones? I'm sure that would help with $$$$$

  6. Bill says:

    I'd be happy to donate to an Gofundme or similar!

    Like a lot of people, I don't live anywhere near DNA Lounge. Even if I did, there's still the small kids running around my house and the fact that, honestly, I'm not really the DNA Lounge target demographic. My musical tastes were largely frozen in the 80s & 90s.

    Still I appreciate a lot of the contributions you've made to society. Sounds hokey, but true. I was a fan of Mosaic & Netscape, I ran xscreensaver for years, and I enjoy your writing even today. In my mind it's less about supporting DNA Lounge & more about supporting jwz.

    Anyway, sorry for the cheese. I couldn't think of a less chessy way to say it. Count on my contributions when you go live.

    • John says:

      Your musical tastes are frozen in the 80s and 90s, and you think that makes you not part of the DNA Lounge's target demographic?

      Have you ever BEEN to Death Guild?

      I joke, of course, out of love. I'm right there with you, regarding musical tastes. When I lived in SF, I was a regular at DG, MEAT, and similar events. Target market, I tell you.

      • Mer says:

        Heeee! Srsly, this is one of the LEAST ageist nightclubs around! Fogies one night, ickle kandi PLURR babies the next. Its diversity is a big part of what I love about the place.

  7. James says:

    Quick followup on the difference between Bolstr and WeFunder for revenue sharing: The former is very easy to apply for (minutes to hours) and will respond quickly with terms, but they are likely to charge much more interest than what you would set after the days to weeks of work it takes to set up a WeFunder SEC forms and contracts.

  8. Doug Johnson says:

    I do a couple of Patreon cartoonist support subscriptions, and would definitely support a similar DNA sub. I'm another long distance lurker, and it would be nice to be able to actually contribute to a sustainable DNA.

    PS. I would put "in-house thing" way down on the list of implementation ideas. Or perhaps on a second list of "interesting ideas that will never be attempted by anyone as long as I am paying the bills."

    • jwz says:

      Well, the reason to consider in-house is that we already operate our own store for ticket processing, and if there's one thing that I've learned from running the store and from owning our own ATMs, it is "don't let some middleman take a percentage when you don't have to".

      But to make that work I'd have to add user logins to the store, which is nontrivial, and certainly something I can't get done in the next few days. So I guess that's not going to happen.

      • Jens Knutson says:

        For things like ticket sales or your cash machine, I think you're right to do it in-house. They're fairly simple transactions, so there's no need for a value-extracting middle man.

        Running a long-term crowdfunding campaign like what they do on Patreon is a pretty different thing though. It's more like operating a service than selling a product, which means, among other things, a bunch of ongoing user experience concerns that you would have to learn about from scratch. Over the long-term, people become even more fickle, so the details of user experience become more important. Outfits like Patreon have made it their whole business to try to get this right. In this case, the middleman might be providing meaningful, ongoing value.

        Apologies if this is all something you've already considered and I'm just pontificating. I'm a long time, long-distance lurker as well, and however you end up operating it, I will happily contribute to any crowdfunding campaign to keep DNA going.

  9. Dan McAnulty says:

    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords, long live the new DNA!

  10. Rebecca says:

    What about a digital album of music from some of your performers from over the years? I would think some of artists who perform there could donate a song for the album for a period of time.

    • jwz says:

      I think that would be really cool. But, music licensing is a gigantic hassle, so there are probably more effective things for me to be spending my time on. Now, if someone who has experience releasing multi-label compilation albums were to volunteer to drive this, that might work...

      • Nate says:

        KFOG has done "Live from the Archives" as a fundraiser for many years, but I don't know if the fact that proceeds go to charity made the licensing easier.

        • Pagrus says:

          KFJC also produces an annual CD of bands that have played live on the air, there's got to be someone there that deals with all the licensing issues.

          They just finished their annual fund drive too, at this point it seems like they have it down pretty well.

  11. [This is my second time posting this; I'm guessing the first one got ganked by Kismet or whatever you're using these days because of an <img> tag pointing to Facebook's edge hosting, so I've moved that to a computer I own instead.]

    Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your [crowd-funding campaign].

    (I'd also be actually coming to live shows at DNA if I lived anywhere nearby, but I live in Philadelphia.)

    I tend to agree with Jens up above wrt Service v Product, and just making use of the widely-accepted options out there. As several other people have noted, I also already support a small number of similar "because it should exist" things via Patreon to the tune of somewhere between $5 and $20 a month, I'd be pleased to be able to do the same for DNA, but I think you're trying to roll your own on this will just end in tears and torn hair. It sounds like what you really want is a sense of financial stability, and even if all of us who would like to support that only kick you $5/month it's a guaranteed income. I've seen that be a huge stress reliever for budgeting a small business (eg, Loading Ready Run).

    Also (and this may end up just being a url if this one gets swallowed by spam-filtering too) it's a few years stale, but I still often wear this t-shirt:

  12. Apparently you don't have a paypal verified account because, swept away by the furvor of the moment, I tried to send a couple of Ben Franklins to jwz at dnalounge dot com but it did not go...

  13. gammaparticle says:

    Please don't close. Where the hell are we going to go to get our Death Guild fix? If you had a monthly subscription service, I'd participate. I don't live in SF anymore, but when visiting, it would be great to come back to hang onto the last vestiges of goth/industrial/ebm/aggrotech underground that is slowly disappearing.

    P.S. I still use your xscreensaver to this very day (since the late 90s).

    • David Kaye says:

      There are all kinds of under-served populations and music genres. How about having a hippie night? Tie-dyed shirts, patchouli oil, psychedelic music, frizzed-out hair, bell bottom pants. I'm surprised nobody has done this yet. And Death Guild -- I've never gone into the club for this, but hanging out in the pizza side I've loved watching the goth kids show up with their outfits.

  14. David Kaye says:

    Just gotta say once again that Kickstarter and memberships are not going to solve the underlying problem: negative cash flow. You have to cut expenses and figure out a way to increase revenue such as renting out, or otherwise the venture is going to fail and people will be pissed off that they've donated money and the thing still failed.

    I know that cutting expenses, especially hours and loyal staff is an extremely hard thing to do. But if you want DNA to survive you've got to do this. Seriously. I'm not joking around.

    • jwz says:

      You can repeat yourself all you want, and it doesn't make what you're saying any more insightful or helpful. Do you really imagine that after all these years, "you should get more business" and "you should reduce costs" have not yet occurred to me? That what I needed was for someone to finally point that out?

      • David Kaye says:

        I myself made money in Bay Area real estate and blew it on a restaurant and a small nightclub in Portland because I thought I had the golden touch. It was only after I lost the business that I realized I should have managed my cash flow better.

        Lots of folks made money in tech and have managed to lose much of it in more conventional businesses. You looked to be one of them.

        I'm sorry to have stepped on your feet, but you've given every indication that cash flow is the problem.

        I previously suggested you should do more 4-walling. I've noticed that you're not on any of the websites that promote convention business, etc. Why not? Heck, Audio, right across the street from you is on Peerspace. Even Chicken John is on Peerspace.

  15. Wait, Jamie Zawinski asks for suggestions from the Internet, and then responds to suggestions not with snark, but with heartfelt thanks? Who is this and what have you done with Jamie?

    I'm happy to hear that things are looking up. San Francisco nightclubs are not my scene (been to DNA Lounge once in 2002, haven't made it back since), but after reading this blog (along with your personal one) for over fifteen years, not having your posts about the club to look forward to would be a big disappointment. The story of running a San Francisco nightclub is a fascinating one, and you tell it very well.

    In addition to getting donations (or grants) to support the club, have you considered looking at ways to monetize this blog directly? I imagine there are more readers like me who enjoy your writing as a standalone affair, and would be happy to contribute to the business without attending the events. Have you considered writing a book? With over fifteen years of posts to start with, an editing pass and maybe some elaboration here and there would make for a very compelling book. Even if the material is entirely available online, I'd still pay for the privilege of owning the collection.

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