News & Politics

Places You Can’t Go: We’re With the Band

A look inside DC's 9:30 Club.

Jared Swetnam (seated), a staffer at DC’s 9:30 Club, hangs out in the well-outfitted dressing room. Photograph by Ron Blunt.

DC’s 9:30 Club is one of the world’s most successful music venues. This past fall, for the third year in a row, it won Billboard’s top-club award based on attendance.

Located on V Street, the 1,200-capacity club has been an institution at this spot since 1996, following many years at 930 F Street in downtown DC. Owners Rich Heinecke and Seth Hurwitz have made the place popular with both fans and bands.

Musicians like it, among other reasons, for how well it treats artists: 9:30 is among the only music clubs with a laundry room so that bands, which spend months on the road, can wash their clothes before and after a concert. The club even provides coins for the industrial-size washer and dryer.

Backstage, on the second floor, is the artists’ dressing room, shown here. It features six padded bunks for performers to rest, a stocked fridge and a bar with coffee and drinks (not visible), and a bathroom, from which this photograph was taken.

This article appears in the January 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.