Local Musicians Speculate That Terrapin Crossroads May Be Closing

Something is happening–or rather not happening–at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, and it’s got local musicians and artists concerned about the future of live music at the Marin County institution.

The popular venue that Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh opened nearly a decade ago does not have any live shows on its calendar, despite hosting outdoor events for the past several months, and some performers who are familiar with the space are speculating on social media that the venue may soon cease to exist at its current location.

On November 3, drummer Ezra Lipp shared several photos on Instagram from a recent concert he played with Stu Allen & Mars Hotel at the end of October. Along with the pics, Lipp wrote, “It was a great (and emotional) honor to play what seemingly was the last show at Terrapin Crossroads Sunday with Stu Allen and Mars Hotel. That place and the community that surrounded it has held more significance and meaning and brought more gifts to me and others than I can do justice trying to encapsulate in a single social media post. What a long strange trip its certainly been. I’m just grateful to have been on the journey and to have one last blow out with so many good friends. Nothing left to do but smile. Can’t wait to see what amazing things we all await to get into next!”

Lipp–who works as an in demand session musician, leads his own band Magic In The Other, is currently the drummer for ALO, and regularly plays with Phil Lesh and Friends–is not the only musician expressing concern over Terrapin Crossroads’ future.

On October 25, guitarist Dan ‘Lebo’ Lebowitz also took to Instagram to share a photo of a ‘I 💔 TXR’ button and wrote, “So much love for this place and the community that it has not only nurtured, but CREATED! I really can’t overstate the importance that this place has played in my and so many other musicians lives. Hard to comprehend the quantity of epic moments that I’ve had on these three stages (Grate Room, Bar, and Beachpark) over the past decade. Moments of camaraderie, moments of fire, moments of beauty, moments of discovery, and so many moments of inspiration moving me brightly.”

According to reports, the venue has not secured an extension on the lease for its location at 100 Yacht Club Drive in San Rafael, and its Beach Park outdoor concert area–operated in partnership with the city–is also seemingly on the rocks.

Until formal announcements are made, musicians can only share their fond memories of the venue and express their hopes for its continuation.

On November 1, multi-instrumental musician Jason Crosby shared several photos from his past performances at Terrapin on Facebook, writing, “While I can’t speculate about Terrapin Crossroads closing for good, I can say with certainty that TXR and it’s community have had an immeasurable impact on my life and career.”

On November 4, songwriter Lee Vandeveer summed up the collective sentiment shared by the Marin music community by writing on Facebook, “Still holding out for a miracle for Terrapin Crossroads!”

Update Nov. 6: Terrapin Crossroads announced on Facebook that it is closing at its current location.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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