Blue Bell’s The Stoop Adds New Meaning to DIY Venues
All photos in this article were taken by Scott Dickinson and provided by The Stoop.
Here at Lehigh Valley Underground, we have a ton of respect for anybody who is blazing their own trail musically. Whether it is the artists you hear each week on The Quinn Spinn and QSLehighValley, or industry people providing opportunities to musicians, there is much to be said about folks who believe in indie music enough to contribute to the scene.
Such is the case with The Stoop, a DIY venue in Blue Bell that is literally what its name suggests – a front stoop in a residential neighborhood. Operated by Marcos Sanchez and Kacia Gonzalez, The Stoop has developed a friendly relationship with its community and local authorities as it provides a continually-improving experience for local musicians.
Gonzalez sat down to provide some information on The Stoop. For more information and a list of upcoming shows, please visit The Stoop’s Facebook page.
So, what exactly is your role in all of this?
The Stoop was created as a way to showcase small local bands in a manner besides large venues or small bars. My most important job is contacting new bands to play, and acting as liaison between band members.
The Stoop was founded in 2014. Talk about the growth that you’ve experienced since then.
This is something that was so small when it started. It was a gathering for all of our friends who are also a group of really talented musicians. It became something special by the end of the summer of its first year, with 4 or 5 new bands at every show, from every different genre of music. It is not at all odd for us to have a jazz band play after a punk band, that plays after a ska band.
What are some of the big things you’re doing in 2016?
This year, we have been able to put The Stoop on a pedestal. Marcos’ band, Stay At Home Dad, recorded an EP over the winter at Drexel. After all of the shows and new friends and connections we made through that, we were able to target a broader range of local bands and looked towards the Philly area.
Through the help of all of these amazing people who have been so willing to help us expose The Stoop, we were lucky enough to have five bands from the Philly/Jersey area, ranging from jam bands to punk bands. All of the bands who played last week have a dedicated fan base, which is huge.
What do you think attracts people to The Stoop?
I think what is most special about The Stoop – and what attracts so many people to it – is its communal spirit. We cherish this area, and we know it deserves a solid music community. People come here to play and are instantly aware of an overwhelming sense of community and pride in the musicians playing. Stoop shows are also completely laid-back events. People are always playing basketball, skateboarding, playing with their dogs or kids, or just relaxing.
What do the bands have to say about it?
Bands have expressed to us how much fun it is to play in front of people actually playing. It gives off a festival feeling, just for a day in our own backyard. It truly is something special.
What do you think the future holds for The Stoop?
We have a lot of hopes and dreams for the future of The Stoop. We have a lot of big Philly bands lined up for the summer season, all the way until October, and we know that this year will be the catalyst to put us out there.
Best of luck going forward! Anything else you’d like to add?
We want to express how much it means to have you interested in us. We never thought The Stoop would have gotten anywhere close to this two years ago. We would love to have you at the next Stoop to check it out for yourself on Saturday, June 25. That night we are featuring a jazz rock band, a grindcore band, a psychedelic funk band and many more. Thanks again, and hope to talk to you soon!