Grrrnd Zero, DIY French venue, calls for support after eviction

Grrrnd Zero, DIY French venue, calls for support after eviction

While Lyon may seem like a faraway place to many of TMT’s readers, France’s second city is home to an exciting DIY community that today is in danger of losing a home base. Grrrnd Zero, a collaborative multi-purpose arts space, has received an eviction notice from Lyon’s City Hall, giving them until the end of 2012 to find a new home for their diverse program, and putting a halt to all public activities in the meantime.

Why should someone who doesn’t live in Lyon care about the potential demise of Grrrnd Zero? If you care about the underground or DIY scene where you live, or lament the lack of one, it’s worth investing a little time to get to know Grrrnd Zero and what they do. Beyond just putting on the occasional show, GZ also provides office and studio space and in general keeps new, off-the-radar ideas percolating in the larger cultural landscape of Lyon. Given their current predicament, GZ has taken two courses of action: 1. Do everything in their power to work with the authorities while still staying true to their DIY roots, and 2. reach out to artists, musicians, organizations, and likeminded individuals to help influence that process.

Impose has an interesting piece on GZ and the issue of working with, instead of against, the metaphorical man when running an otherwise ‘underground’ arts space. The article asks whether it goes against the mandate of DIY organizations to work within the confines of government bureaucracy. When that’s the only viable option, and when the government in question is actually willing to work with, and not change, the end goal of DIY organizations, this new approach should probably be supported.

So what can you do? GZ is asking for friends of the space to write an old-fashioned letter or compose a new-fangled electronic mail to the mayor of Lyon and to the deputy in charge of cultural affairs in Lyon. From GZ’s online voice, the Amour-Discipline zine:

Send a mail to,, (please include “Grrrnd Zero” somewhere in the mail subject). Or send a real letter to: Gérard Collomb, please be a cool dude – Mairie de Lyon – 1, place de la Comédie – 69205 Lyon cedex 01 – somewhere in France

To help stoke interest in their plight, GZ has put together two video compilations of performances that have taken place at the space over the last few years. GZ is encouraging any and all interested parties to “stream, download and share them as much as possible.” The impressive list of artists featured in the two videos includes Deerhoof, Deerhunter, Melt Banana, Lightning Bolt, and Black Dice. Additional support has already been drummed up by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, who tweeted, “Are you a supporter of DIY music spaces? Please write a letter for our friends at Grrrnd Zero who are being evicted.” If you are a supporter of DIY music spaces, feel free to retweet and keep this DIY campaign moving along, and make sure and let GZ know by notifying them via email at — they’ll be compiling an activity log of all action taken by supporters to help their case with the city of Lyon.

Who knows, the DIY space in your hometown might need some help one day, and if this campaign is any indication, you’ll probably have some cool folks in Lyon to turn to for assistance if GZ is able to find a way to keep their doors open in the face of typical local government bureaucracy.

• Amour-Discipline:
• Grrrnd Zero [in French]:

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