It's widely known by now that Denton's once-venerable Majestic Dwelling of DOOM—not only a favorite place for acts of all kinds to play, but also by many accounts the area's most important DIY venue—has shut its doors after a successful two-year run.
On September 27, a fight broke out just outside the basement venue and spilled into the street, quickly turning into an all-out brawl.
"When I ran out, I saw the road completely covered in people," recalls one of the house venue's residents and main bookers, Natalie Davila. "It would be like groups of six people beating the shit out of each other. All these mini-fights."
Police told Davila that if the fire marshal had shown up first, she could've received a $2,000 fine and that she would be arrested if DOOM were to host another show. And with that, the venue's been closed for good.
"Since there were so many more people [at our recent shows], the crowds were more diverse and the personalities conflicted," says Davila.
The venue's prominence, she says, outstripped that of the bands it hosted—to the point that crowds of 250 or more people would gather somewhere on the property, most of whom Davila had never seen before. She thinks it could be part of a larger social trend among college-age people. "The subversive culture is now the popular culture," she speculates, while also suspecting that rampant Facebook event invites were a key culprit in the DIY space's demise.
"It's basically just people that were there to drink and party and weren't there to see any sort of show," says Andrew Haas, one of the unlucky souls dragged into the melee. "It's the antithesis of the point of seeing a show. Who gets in a fight at a George Quartz show anyway?"
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As for the show itself, George Quartz and His After Hours Band did not even play what was purported to be keyboardist Jake Schrock's last show with the band. The fight that ended DOOM took place shortly after Dharma and the Cukoo Byrds played their sets.
"At DOOM, you could get away with showcasing more experimental music," says Haas. "DOOM filled that capacity, and now there's nothing."
As far as a replacement, Davila pointed to conversations she's had with people who run other DIY venues, and her landlord is even working on obtaining another space to throw shows. John Baish, owner of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, was among those who offered Davila his condolences after the shut-down, even offering his venue as a place to book shows.
For now, though, there will be a hole in North Texas' DIY landscape where DOOM once reigned supreme.