If you are a concert goer and live in Atlanta, chances are you have been to a show at The Masquerade. If you grew up here, we know you have your very own Masquerade story! We want to hear them! This is your chance to win tickets to an upcoming show at The Masquerade. Leave a comment below telling us your story, funny… scary… awesome… we want to know. Our good pal, Tim Sweetwood who is the man behind the music will let us know which story wins! You have until the end of September, so get to writing!
The Masquerade is our featured venue of the month – September 2011.
The Masquerade has a long history in Atlanta. It was once the old Dupre Excelsior Mill (the actual name as of 1911 was “Du Pree Manufacturing Company Excelsior Factory”) Former excelsior mill located at 695 North Avenue in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia. The mill may have been built as early as 1890 by DuPre Manufacturing Co (or Du Pree Manufacturing Company as referred to on contemporary maps).
The Post-depression era saw an expansion of the mill in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Unfortunately, after the Second World War, the demand for excelsior was radically reduced.The introduction of foam rubber virtually eliminated the use of excelsior as stuffing material. Even so, the secondary packing material market continued for a short time. By the mid 1960s, the demand for excelsior was gone and the mill operated more as a storage facility than active production facility. In 1977, all the major mills in the Atlanta area shut their doors.
In 1977-1978, the mill was converted over to a pizzeria and barrio. With a Wurlitzer Organ as part of the setting, the Excelsior Mill featured everything from movies to bands to Shakespearian plays over its decade long run, the pizza and barrio house survived until 1989. The Excelsior Mill is fondly remembered by blues fans as the residence in later years of blues legend Willie “Piano Red” Perryman. and an in-house pipe organ.
In September 1989 it became the Masquerade, now a well-known nightclub and concert venue for both indoor and outdoor shows, mostly of alternative music styles such as Metal, Punk Rock, Rockabilly, and Electronic.
Happy Anniversary to The Masquerade! 22 years of music and hopefully many more!
In honor of The Masquerade being our featured venue, we asked Tim Sweetwood a few questions about his dealings with the venue and what is in store in the coming years.
1. When did you get involved with The Masquerade?
I started here in the summer of 2005. I started just booking local bands and then quickly moved to booking the national acts as well as the local bands.
2. Do you have any found memories of attending the Masquerade when you were younger?
Sure, I snuck in several times, which I don’t encourage anyone to do anymore. I was able to see Radiohead here, and crazy shows like Nirvana opening up for Primus. Good times for sure.
3. What do you see in the future for The Masquerade?
Having the venue continue to evolve and match the music and acts of the time but be able to hold on to bands from the past. The Masquerade is one of the most diverse venues I have ever come across. It is very similar to the way people are fans of music. You can have a metal show upstairs with an indie rock show downstairs, and yet another genre like reggae playing in Purgatory. Don’t knock until you try it.
The Masquerade is one of our favorite venues to work with. Tim is a great promoter and gets some amazing shows in Atlanta for us. Now if we could just tell the girl at Will Call that TBB is always on the list we would be just fine ;)
TBB congratulates The Masquerade on 22 years and raises our glass to them for many many more!
Enjoy some galleries from our coverage of The Masquerade. Every photographer in Atlanta with a camera better than a point and shoot, knows The Masquerade is a hard shoot. No flash and hard to navigate photo pits makes it a challenge and one we here at The Backstage Beat welcome.