News & Politics

9:30 Club and Anthem Owner Pleads Guilty to Soliciting Prostitution

Seth Hurwitz tells employees: "I am sorry for any distress I may have caused you about who you work for."

Hurwitz in 2014. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Seth Hurwitz pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor charge of soliciting prostitution and was sentenced to three years’ probation and fined $500 plus court costs. Hurwitz’s company I.M.P. owns the 9:30 Club and the Anthem and manages and books Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Lincoln Theatre.

Police accused Hurwitz this past summer of attempting to procure sex from a massage therapist. Montgomery County vice and intelligence unit detectives sat in on a phone call during which cops said Hurwitz promised to pay for sexual favors. When he arrived at the massage business, he was arrested. Washington City Paper got ahold of the charging documents in the case.

Hurwitz stepped aside from day-to-day operations of I.M.P. after his arrest. In a note to employees he said he was “VERY sorry for any embarrassment & stress this is causing any of you.”

I.M.P. did not have a statement on Hurwitz’s guilty plea but shared a note Hurwitz sent to staff Thursday:

“Everything happens for a reason.”

This is true, but not in the spiritual sense. It’s what you do afterwards that decides how that goes.

They also say adversity is an opportunity. For me, this was, in fact, a great opportunity to step back and take a look at who I really am. Definitely needed some work.

Rather than present my side of this story in a court, with all that unwanted drama, I am going to do what’s best for my family and employees and put this behind us. There are simply times when, regardless of the facts or the law, it is much better to plead or settle and move on. This is one of those times.

Believe it or not, I truly believe that this will end up being a positive if painful lesson and make me a better person. I spent a good bit of time away working hard on me. And it taught me to continue to do so…why not. I highly recommend this for anyone…and not to wait for an issue to force it.

Again, I am sorry for any distress I may have caused you about who you work for. Hopefully, someday, you will be more proud than ever about our work and the principles we stand for.

I appreciate everyone minding the shop while I was away. As I always realize, more and more, our venues are really about you.

Thank you.



Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.