Bedlam Theatre closing: What's next for Bomp?

Jonathan Ackerman DJing at Bomp! at the Bedlam last February
Jonathan Ackerman DJing at Bomp! at the Bedlam last February

News that the Bedlam Theatre will be closing hit the music and theater communities hard yesterday, but it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the Bedlam Theatre company or the end of the popular monthly dance night, Bomp! We caught up with executive artistic director John Bueche to get his take on his company's future (which you can read here), and below you'll find our conversation with DJ and Moongoons mastermind Jonathan Ackerman, who shed some light on what might happen to Bomp!

What's your history with the Bedlam?

Jonathan Ackerman: We've been working with [the Bedlam], through Bomp!, for a while now. I think we're going on maybe a year, I think we've had our year already. We knew about this a while ago, so we've been making plans. Really, more than anything, we want to stick with the Bedlam, because we love our relationship with the Bedlam. But we have other options in case the Bedlam isn't able to find a new location immediately. So that's kind of where we stand right now.

So you think if you did move Bomp! to a different location, it might just be tentative until you can partner back with the Bedlam in their new spot?

Exactly. Really, in talking with -- because it's myself, Shannon [Blowtorch], and Wes [Winship] that run the Bomp! night -- we've been talking, and really we like the Bedlam, so we're just not trying to leave them, regardless. If they have a place coming up, then we're willing to go there. But right now, since we found out about it, we've contacted a bunch of other venues, and we have some options for what we're going to do, we're just trying to figure out what the best course of action is.

It came as a pretty hard blow when the newspapers announced it yesterday.

Yeah. You know, when the Bedlam let us know we tried to keep it under wraps, we wanted to make sure there was a plan of action before we started to talk about things.

What's your opinion on how this will affect the music scene on the West Bank? Will it change the prominence of dance music on the West Bank?

The thing is, we really like the West Bank, I think people like the West Bank. Losing a venue is tough no matter what part of town it's in, but I think people will work around it. I don't think the West Bank has any shortage of venues at this time. Walking up and down the street, it's like every side is a bar that has stuff going on. While the Bedlam did have a lot of shows, it's a theater company, and there's also a number of theater companies on the West Bank. It's a bummer that this situation has turned out how it is, but at the same time it's like, I don't think that Minneapolis and people who go to shows are going to stop going to things because it's not at the Bedlam on the West Bank.

What do you think is unique about the Bedlam?

The thing that really drew us to the Bedlam to begin with is that it's such an alternative venue. I think people really like the idea of getting to go to a show that isn't necessarily at a typical bar. They like different things -- maybe it's at a park, or maybe it's at a theater. It's changing it up a little bit. Also, the Bedlam was a little off the beaten path, so that kind of kept it that the people who were in the know would go out there, rather than random wandering crowds showing up.

Read more about the Bedlam's future in our interview with executive artistic director John Bueche.

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