One of Charlotte's most iconic music venues is asking for help from its supporters today in an effort not to become the most recent in a long list of Charlotte venues to shut its doors as of late.
Late Tuesday night, owners of The Milestone in west Charlotte posted a video and a GoFundMe page
to raise money for renovations that they say are needed in order for the long-standing venue to keep its doors open.
Carlos Espin, known for his 14-year effort to bring the Area 15 warehouse near NoDa to where it is today, is set to buy the property where The Milestone sits, but said the building needs major renovations costing $150,000 to keep bands coming to the Enderly Park venue as they've been doing since 1969.
Needed renovations include replacing two roofs, one of which hasn't been replaced since the building went up in 1904. In fact, the building itself hasn't been renovated in those 112 years.
"We don't have 14 years at The Milestone," Espin said in a video posted on the GoFundMe page.
On that page, current co-owner Stephanie Hughes wrote about the history of The Milestone, which has hosted mainstream bands like Nirvana, R.E.M. and Melissa Etheridge to punk icons like Bad Brains, Black Flag and Fugazi.
"In the past year, the face of the local music scene in the Queen City has changed dramatically, with the loss of Tremont Music Hall, The Chop Shop and Tommy's Pub," Hughes wrote. "One could call the west side institution, The Milestone Club, the underdog of the music scene, that one constant that has been a haven for up-and-coming musicians since 1969."
She continued, "With a history as legendary as The Milestone's, the rickety Tuckaseegee Road club has managed to survive the eras of new wave, grunge, hardcore, post-punk and everything in between, lived to tell the tale, but not without its share of battle scars. Undoubtedly, the structure has seen better days since the original building was constructed over 100 years ago. The Milestone Club is badly in need of repair to continue to be the constant the city of Charlotte needs."
In a Facebook post from co-owner Jonathan Hughes
announcing the GoFundMe campaign, he humbly asked the music community for a helping hand.
"It’s not anyone’s fault," Jonathan wrote. "It’s not the city screwing us or anything... it’s just time taking a toll on things. We don’t want to ask for anyone’s help. We’ve always just gotten by... but that said... we’ve always gotten by. We’ve never paid our rent late. We’ve never had our utilities cut off. We’ve never not paid a band what they were promised or earned. We’ve done it honest and we just want to keep giving our hearts and efforts back to you guys."
Within just a half day of the GoFundMe page going up, Espin had already raised about $6,500, but much more will need to come rolling in to do what's needed to keep The Milestone alive.
"I'm stepping up, doing what I need to do to keep The Milestone open for another 47 years, and I hope you'll step up and respond as well," Espin said in the video.