Friday, July 06, 2018

ONCE Somerville to Close Temporarily; Changes on the Way

by Marc Hurwitz

A music and arts space in Somerville will be shutting down for at least awhile, as it makes some changes that will hopefully keep the place going.

According to an article from Vanyaland, ONCE on Highland Avenue is closing on July 31, as it is undergoing a "transition to a new internal structure" and getting a "cosmetic facelift," with the plan being to open back up sometime in the fall. This comes on the heels of a rough stretch for the place which included a break-in back in May along with facing the high costs of operating the business, with owner JJ Gonson reaching out to the city for help while also asking for support from the local music scene. A statement from ONCE includes the following:

"Over the next few months you will see changes at ONCE. Our mission will remain the same....but we must transition and hone to keep the business viable....Although it is unclear what the future state of ONCE will be, we sincerely hope you stick with us in continuing to realize our vital mission of focusing on local arts and artists....though we are not sure when we will reopen, we hope to fill the Fall with even more exciting events to bring the cultural community that much closer together. For the love of art, and with sincere gratitude, thank you for letting us be your venue.

The address for ONCE is 156 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143. Its website is at

[July 29 update: A Facebook post from the place indicates that ONCE will close on Wednesday, August 1 (one final event takes place on Tuesday, July 31) and that the plan is to reopen in mid-September.]

[August 24 update: Vanyaland mentions that ONCE plans to reopen on September 16, and that it will be featuring shows that are booked by the venue itself and in partnership with Crossroads Presents, a Boston-based concert promoter that books shows for Brighton Music Hall, The Paradise Rock Club, the Orpheum Theatre, and others.]

[September 10 update: An events page indicates that the reopening of ONCE on September 16 will include their taking part in the SomerStreets Strike Up the Bands festival on Highland Avenue that day, with the festival including food, live music, a beer garden, and more.]

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[A related post from our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants): List of Restaurant Closings and Openings in the Boston Area]

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