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About two weeks ago, we heard rumblings that the Balazo Gallery was shutting its doors to live music. For the unaware, the gallery, located at 2183 Mission St, is one of the few spaces in San Francisco that has allowed local bands to book their own all ages shows and has hosted shows by many, if not most, of the bands featured on The Bay Bridged. Concerned about the closure, we contacted the gallery to get the full scoop.

In an initial e-mail to The Bay Bridged on March 22nd, an unidentified gallery representative explained that the city government was requesting that the Balazo Gallery apply for a live music permit, although the representative stated that they were going to City Hall on the 23rd to find out more details.

Those details were conveyed to us and others in a follow-up e-mail on March 27th which stated that:

-The city is requiring the Balazo Gallery to apply for and receive an entertainment license in order to hold live music, DJs and other performances. The gallery administrators applied for a license on March 26th. That application will be heard on May 1st at 5pm at City Hall.

-All shows at the gallery are canceled until the permit is approved, a process which could take between one and three months.

-Being unable to hold live performances means that the gallery has lost out on a key source of income to cover rent and other necessities. To make the situation more dire, the city has requested certain electrical, construction and soundproofing improvements which the gallery currently cannot afford.

Soliciting any and all efforts for fundraising and volunteers to help complete the physical renovations needed, the gallery representative concluded the e-mail, "we need your help to keep Balazo's doors open and open for all the independent and alternative people."

You can contact the Balazo Gallery at balazogallery@yahoo.com and at their web site and MySpace page. Please help pass this news along to others within the local community.