Sad news – Parkade is closing

Parkade v1.0 during building

Just heard from Amanda Shinji that the Parkade, one of the longest clubs in Second Life (nearly 3 years!!! That’s several lifetimes in SL) and the club I had a part in running and designing after Andy Asylum decided to stop running it is closing at the end of this month closed, gone, no more (see EDIT below for rant).

Here’s what she said:

As some of you know, I took over Parkade from Andy Asylum back in March 2007 and with the graphical assistance of the erstwhile DJNoNo Ulysses, we reopened the facelifted club in May 2007, on the now long gone Pontiac Motorati Island.

Pontiac left SL and the United Spinal Association took over the 7 sim complex, Parkade grew, with the slightly smaller replica of the Golden Gate Bridge out front and the small chill out area around the back… Same amazing crowd, same fun…

Last year, around June time, I moved Parkade to what was Kara Zor Isle and we had a giggle there, but the sim being sold forced me to move the club to it’s current location, Parkade Island. As you know, full sims aren’t cheap and I couldn’t afford to buy or rent one, so I rented a light use sim, which was adequate but then the delightful LL decided to stick their noses into what we did with these ‘buffer’ sims and called time on our antics, creating the Homestead sims, which then drastically limited the number of people who could use the places to 20. Not ideal for a club.

However, this wasn’t an issue, because with the decline in SL clubbing culture, only the diehard faithful hung around. We’d already lost a few DJs by then and what with the receeding crowds, we lost long time resident DJNoNo. However, we keep going and push on. Saturdays are still busy, with Walt’s Boot Camp nights and of course me n’ Diva taking it in turns before BootieSL, then there are Walt’s Sunday sessions and me on Thursdays… However, things aren’t picking up and it’s not just this club that is affected, others are too… Once great names like Republik are also suffering. Republik are in the same situation as Parkade too and thats a shame.

Anyway, enough about Republik. This is about Parkade here and this is where it gets tricky. I’ve taken the hard decision to close one of SL’s longest running clubs. What was started in 2006 is ending in 2009, by the end of this month. I’ve informed the company who I rent the sim from that I’ll not need it come the end of March and I’ll be removing the build permanently then. Parkade will cease to exist. It’s been one helluva rollercoaster ride, but the LL decision to limit numbers has been a huge factor in this, as well as cost too… I’m paying a lot for this sim and frankly, it’s not worth it any more.

So, this is it…

Well, so you’d think, no?

What if there was a “But…”?

But… this isn’t the end. Oh no. Parkade might be closing, but this isn’t the end.

I mentioned Republik earlier on. Republik on their class 5 sim, with a 100 person limit and the threat of closure due to financial issues and dwindling attendance… Well, guess what grrrls n’ bois? I’m moving to Republik!!

I’m going to be investing in keeping the sim afloat, along with the other owners, I too will be an owner of the club and between us and the management team, we’re going to relaunch the place, complete with a brand new club build that is almost finished and stunningly gorgeous. Even though I’m paying into the tier, I’m still saving money on what I pay now for this cut down excuse for a sim, so I win there, and I know that BootieSL and my sets will continue there and I’m hoping that Walt will come with me and bring his Saturday night and Sunday sets with him too, so if you lot come along, it’ll be like home, only darker and posher. Slightly 😉

This isn’t the end, it’s the beginning. The beginning of something pretty damned cool. Myself, Sable, Lina and Jo are going to really push Republik in 2009 with some different strategies and ideas, plus I’m hoping to bring a live band from RL to perform in SL too and I’m not talking about some kids in a garage, this lot have supported Depeche Mode on tour 😉

So, don’t be sad that Parkade is closing, be happy that the music, atmosphere and fun live on.

I am planning to sort out a farewell party soon, and I’ll post details of that when I’ve got it arranged.

Anyway, I’ve gone on long enough. I wanted to let you all know what is happening and I hope you realise this is for the best.

Thanks, and see you on the other side soon… Amanda xXx

I have to say I’m not surprised – as Amanda says the club culture and audience in SL has been tailing off for a while now – not to say there aren’t well attended clubs as I expect the new Republik will be, but certainly the tier-changes killed or consolidated a lot of smaller clubs and places in SL where I stayed (and meant a lot of my friends left), hence my decision earlier this year to stop DJing at the Parkade.

I wish Amanda all the best at the Republik, where Amanda’s night and BootieSL will continue, and a few more of the Parkade nights maybe, and I’ll definitely try to be at the last events at the Parkade for a tearful farewell. Thanks to Amanda and Andy for running a great club, it’ll definitely be missed.

EDIT: Due to the what I can only describe as what sounds like the SL version of a slum landlord (I can shorten it even further: C**ts) the Parkade is no more – Amanda thought she had until the end of the month and they foreclosed this morning…so I never got to say goodbye and the place is an empty island. This makes me very sad.

Really I have to say this is one of the major problems of SL – the fact that Linden Labs itself doesn’t really show a good example means that the place is full of shady and dodgy people – but it hurts Second Life as a whole – people don’t want to turn up to a club and find a stinking hole, or be messed around, or have the whole openspace debacle…they just leave annoyed and don’t come back. So what might be a quick buck for the landlords of SL and Linden Labs eventually damages the whole thing, and creative people leave, and it all just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth.

This impermanence – the loss of popular areas like Fat Tiger for example, should be something Linden Labs is worried about – if you don’t have cool places for people to visit, then people will go away. And these places may be virtual but people do have real connection to them over years – so to just pull the plug immediAately with no warning is callous and just shows you what kind of people rent land in Second Life, somewhere below pond scum.

Bootie 5th birthday party
Breakoleur's set madness

11 Comments

  1. March 15
    Reply

    I’m gutted that the place has gone so quickly… I was going to organise a full on party, have as many of the old DJs back as possible to play and just keep it all going until we fell over… But, it was not to be 🙁

    I remember designing the place, with you.. Stood on the roof of the old club, working out what would go where and then building it all in huge SL wooden chunks. The look and feel of the place was unique, it had a proper identity and I used to get many comments about how people loved the whole ambience… Parkade was a club for clubbing’s sake, with no gimmicks or contests to draw in the crowds, which is the same ethos as Republik has… I keep wanting to say ‘they’ when I mention Republik, but it’s ‘we’ now. Thats gonna take some getting used to.

    I agree that the conditions placed on the old OpenSim land, converting them to Homesteads did kill the place. If I’d had the cash, I’d have got a full Class 5 sim, but that was a LOT of money and anyway, theres no guarantee that people would’ve come. Since the conversion to Homestead land, I never had anyone complain the sim was full…

    Anyway, Parkade was a fantastic place and I’m incredibly proud to have been associated with it, as DJ, designer, builder and owner and I’d like to thank everyone who made it what it was. I know a lot of people are going to miss the place, me very much so, but I believe that the spirit will live on over at Republik and that between the four of us, we can bring the proper, hardcore clubbing element back to SL and defy those trying to stop us…

    I’ll still be DJing there, BootieSL will continue there and as for the other events, I’m not sure… People have been asked, I await confirmation of decisions either way.

    Finally, I’d like to appeal to anyone out there who has pictures taken in the club… If you can send them to me, I’ll post them on my Flickr for posterity. The club might be gone, but the memories will never die.

    • March 16
      Reply

      You know I have a load over at my Flickr?

      And thanks for the last 2+ years, it’s been great. Shame it ended the way it did, but trying to remember the good times 😉

  2. Carmine Cerise
    March 16
    Reply

    Parkade was the first clubbing scene I experienced in SL. Specifically, Sunday Jambient with the wonderful Walton Vieria opened my eyes to a world of great music and people. It was like falling in love with your first girlfriend. Only recently did I have the pleasure of beholding the marvelous DJing of Amanda Shinji. I thought I had found the Holy Grail of SL clubbing with two DJ’s par excellence.

    When Amanda announced the closing of Parkade at the end of her set on Saturday, I was crestfallen. Yet, the party would continue at Republik. With one last Sunday Jambient session and a farewell party later in the week, the remaining faithful and newer Parkadians could express their joy and sadness in one last round of exultation.

    So as I flew over Parkade Island on Sunday the feeling of being profoundly violated settled in my gut. Everything was gone. I found out what had happened but that doesn’t change the fact of a select few making a buck off of my grief. I can’t imagine what Amanda felt.

    Looking to the future I realize that club owners like Amanda put an incredible amount of effort, time, and money into establishing a business for music to reach the SL masses. And then there’s the process of putting together a great set and entertaining a crowd every night.

    Attendees at these events have it too good. There is no cover charge! Tipping is optional!! I thought I was doing well by tipping every single time I pop into a joint for more than a few minutes. Wrong!

    The club owners and DJ’s are too kind to say it but the fact is tipping generously (every time) is the bare minimum we should be doing to support the clubs and DJ’s we patronize. It’s a heck of a lot less than you would spend on an RL night of clubbing. And you get to lounge around in your PJ’s and have a clean loo all to yourself.

    I plan on doubling my tips. It isn’t that much money and it makes a big difference when everyone contributes. But first and foremost, attend regularly. Nothing sucks more for a DJ than going to the time and effort of putting together a kickass set and then seeing a lot of empty dance floor the entire night. It isn’t a provided SL convenience for us to have these gals and guys bring us the best tunes, mixes, and mashes. SL has lost a lot of talent and your favorite club and DJ will be next if you don’t support them.

    Stepping down from my soapbox, I can’t express enough my heartfelt gratitude for the friendships formed whilst clubbing and grinding my heels in SL. For many of us there, it is the single best way to have meaningful relationships that enrich our otherwise lonely lives. Thank you Amanda and all the other dedicated individuals for giving me and so many others something to look forward to.

    • March 16
      Reply

      Thanks for writing that – shame I didn’t have the pleasure to DJ for you, but I can confirm the heartbreaking feeling when you DJ and there’s no-one there, or only 1 person….I think the old adage ‘you don’t know what you have until it’s gone’ is very true, and I wish more people would appreciate the work that DJs and club owners put into Second Life and their sets and clubs – having done both for several years it’s not a totally thankless task, but sometimes a lonely one! I think people do it for fun, but it doesn’t mean you don’t plan, spend money, build or look forward to your sets, or not take it seriously – at the Parkade it was always all of those.

      And yes I can confirm all DJs will appreciate more tips! It was sobering when I worked out I was getting about a few real dollars for 2 hours entertainment – certainly it’s not about getting rich quick! For me, Amanda, Topher, Walt and all who DJed at the Parkade it was all about the music. I think if my audience and the audiences generally hadn’t tailed off I’d still be DJing there still – despite not getting rich! We want to spread the music, and that will continue with the Republik.

      But I will always have a special fondness for the Parkade, it was partly my baby too. And to have a landowner force it to be pulled down before I could say goodbye, well it broke my heart.

  3. March 16
    Reply

    BTW, like a phoenix from the flames, Parkade will be rebuilt again, for ONE NIGHT ONLY for us all to say goodbye to the old place… Watch this space 😉

    • March 16
      Reply

      That is VERY good news indeed! Made my, err, morning…

      Reminds me, must go to bed….

    • March 16
      Reply

      P.S. I’d love to DJ, and if we could record the whole night happy to host it here.

      BTW it’s gotta be called Phoenix. Unless you have a better name, it just describes it perfectly.

      And get out the thumbscrews. I want Andy Asylum, Topher etc. to DJ too 🙂 Old crew!

  4. March 16
    Reply

    Saturday 21st March (thats this weekend), time not too sure yet, but it’ll be a mega session, late into the night.. If you think you’re getting away without playing, think again 😉 I’m gonna get Topher too and if you’ve got Andy’s details, hit him up and get him online…

    I’ll have more details when I’ve planned it.. And don’t you mean Pheonix? 😉

    (sorry, in joke)

    • March 16
      Reply

      Andy’s said yes…so keep me in the loop and I’ll let him know.

      Pheonix, lol

  5. March 16
    Reply

    Just asked the Focks, awaiting his reply… Starting at 2pm PDT (9pm UK) and finishing whenever… Play whatever you want, I don’t care if tunes are repeated in the night, just play what the hell you feel like…

    And yes, I’d already thought of calling it Phoenix, spelling it the Oxford English Dictionary way 😉

  6. Dov Watanabe
    March 18
    Reply

    You guys are the best. DJNoNo and Amanda and the Parkade are why I got onto SL in the first place. And you guys made it worth my while to be on, and to be at the club, every damn time you played for us. I haven’t been at Parkade much for the past few months (about the only time I’m on SL at all these days are when I’m DJing…. and yes, club culture has definitely gone downhill in-world) but I’m going to change my plans this weekend and be there for the Thou Shalt Always Spell It P-H-E-O-N-I X or whatever it’ll be called. 🙂

    Sorry for the sad news, but glad you’ll be able to throw this party. See you there.

    –Dov

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