The Zoo Zhop is a combined record store and performance space at 223 Main Street, which has held concerts by local and touring bands since 2009.
Last summer, Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services delivered a Notice of Violation asking us to make four minor alterations to the interior of the Zoo Zhop. We did that, and everything proceeded just fine. Until... this past Thursday, May 30, they returned unannounced and served a new Notice of Violation, asking us to "please not use this premise for conerts [sic]" and also to make 14 further alterations to the space. We had a concert scheduled for the next night and did not cancel it, thinking we would be given more than 24 hours to comply with the previous requests. Sure enough, the fire department returned, again demanding we "stop temporary activities - no shows, concerts" and this time threatening to "shutter" the building.
After nearly four years of holding concerts, why are we suddenly being asked to stop? Did the law change, or is the fire department selectively enforcing old laws? We will happily make the 14 minor alterations as requested, but we don't think it's reasonable to stop holding concerts completely. Music is not a crime, and our venue is a valuable resource for the local community that should be allowed to continue
Zoo Zhop is the only low-barrier, all-ages venue in Vancouver. It needs to be saved.