On Monday evening, after DCist’s Rachel Kurzius reported that Shaw’s Metro PCS store was forced to turn off its go-go music, protesters gathered to rally around the theme #DontMuteDC. Since 1995, storeowner Donald Campbell has blasted and sold go-go CDs from the corner of his 7th Street and Florida Ave., NW storefront. That all stopped a few weeks ago after a Shaw resident filed a complaint about the noise to T-Mobile, which owns Metro PCS.
While many argued that this is another example of DC’s black history being torn from its foundation by gentrifiers, others pushed back on that; Neighborhood commissioner Anita Norman told Kurzius that it’s not about the genre of music, but the volume, citing locals who are blind and rely on crosswalk safety sounds to cross the street.
Amid the debate, a video circulated on Twitter showing Voodoo Brewery‘s pop-up beer garden (on the same block as Metro PCS at 625 T St., NW) blaring dance music from its speakers as customers sipped craft beer outside. The pop-up launched a few weeks ago and will be open (weather permitting) Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the summer.
The Metro PCS Store on Florida Ave has been ordered to stop playing gogo music outside. Here’s a video of newer DC residents playing music just as loud right next to the store. #DontMuteDC pic.twitter.com/XbwXjJHBCM
— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) April 8, 2019
When reached by Washingtonian, Andrew Volanski, the Pennsylvania-based eastern retail manager for Voodoo Brewery, said the controversy was “fresh news” to him, but that the beer garden would like to support the atmosphere and music that’s already played in Shaw. Next time he’s in town, he says he plans to go over and introduce himself to the owner of Metro PCS to see if there’s a way they can work together.
“We’d be more than happy to play whatever anyone wants to hear,” he says. “So if that’s throwing in some go-go music into our mix, that’s totally within the realm of possibility.”
Volanski says that while the brewery is based in Pennsylvania, the beer garden already partners with local businesses. DCity Smokehouse serves barbecue, while a local DJ curates the music. Voodoo has never received a noise complaint, Volanski says.
“Frankly, we’re playing music outside too, and I would hate for us to be allowed and someone else not to be,” Volanski says. “We want zero animosity whatsoever. We’re just hear to make sure everyone has a good time.”