Koos coming back to downtown Santa Ana!

Koos founder Dennis Lluy is bringing his groundbreaking enterprise back to Santa Ana!  “After five years in downtown Long Beach, storied all-ages venue Koo’s is officially returning to Santa Ana and a new home at the historic Yost Theater, where a no-longer non-profit Koo’s, Inc., will begin programming in January,” according to the OC Weekly.

This is great news for Santa Ana – particularly for our young people.  There is not much to do here, but Koos will give us a place to enjoy music, art and our imagination.

According to Koos’ website, they serve “as a conduit for creative expression through the visual and performing arts, and providing a professional space for emerging and established artists. A music venue, educational art center and gallery, Koos recognizes the personal and cultural importance of all types of art. “

Here is a brief history lesson from the OC Weekly:

The original Koo’s, which Lluy helped start in 1994 in a former restaurant on north Main Street in Santa Ana, was arguably Orange County’s definitive all-ages venue. But Lluy voluntarily shuttered the venue in 2002 after a warning from the city of Santa Ana that donation policy and occupancy codes would be strictly enforced. Though Koo’s was currently pursuing a conditional use permit that would have cleared up technical legal issues, Lluy decided to avoid potential conflict with the city and relocated (after an interim stint in Garden Grove) to downtown Long Beach. Tensions with neighbors there over amplified music heavily curtailed Koo’s booking, however, and although the space eventually found new life as an art gallery, Koo’s never recovered its reputation as an all-ages live venue.

It figures that the City of Santa Ana drove Koos out of our city in the first place.  I hope they get a better reception this time.

Koos’ first Santa Ana event is already booked: “SoundDowntown 2008 is a one-day music festival on Saturday, November 15, featuring a lineup of over 50 locally and nationally recognized bands, DJ’s and performing artists at various venues throughout the Artist’s Village of downtown Santa Ana,” according to the Koos Concerts website. Preferred advance tickets are $10 and general admission is $15 day-of.

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