Music Venue Bathroom Graffiti: A Pictorial History

It’s now been over a month since I last saw a live concert and I’m missing it.

In fact I’m missing everything about going out to live music venues – even the overpriced beer and the tall people who decide they’re going to stand right in front of you at shows. All of this nostalgia for live music had me taking a dive into the archives of my (mostly terrible) music photography from over the years. One thing I noticed was that for awhile, I took photos of graffiti in the washrooms of many of theses venues over the years any time I saw something that amused me.

And since none of us will be going to any concerts or setting foot inside a bar any time too soon, I figured why not take a walk down memory lane, even if it’s to look at a part of the venue that we generally don’t tend to look back on all that fondly. At the very least, it should inspire you to wash your hands yet again.

So here it is, a bunch of random shots of graffiti from various venues, some of them long gone by now.

Hard Luck Bar – April 23, 2010

This was taken at the original location of Hard Luck Bar, a place I can barely even remember now. Clearly the author had some opinions on the venue and didn’t want to wait to express them in a Yelp review.

Unknown Venue – July 3, 2010

No idea where this one was taken and I don’t think it was even a music venue, but this pic serves as a reminder that Myspace was still a thing bands were using to promote themselves in 2010. I will also note the quote from Pulitzer prize winning author Annie Dillard, which certainly classes the place up a bit.

Annex Wreck Room – January 22, 2011

Unknown Venue – April 12, 2011


Sailor Jerry House, SXSW – March 13, 2014

sxsw2014 sailor jerry house
I found this scrawled on the wall at some pop up venue during SXSW. Was this in the original draft of The Force Awakens? Not sure what this was all about but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know.

Roskilde Festival – July 3, 2014

OK, this one is a legit mural and definitely not graffiti, but the message of “Please! Don’t piss … here!” is a clear indication that this spot was unofficially at least a potential toilet, so I’ll allow its inclusion on this list. I definitely miss music festivals too, but I do not miss the way that they become essentially one giant urinal.

People, whenever we are once again allowed to congregate in open spaces and listen to live music together (and it might be a while still), remember these words and please don’t piss there. Just don’t. But … if you must pee, at least wash your hands afterwards.

In the meantime, check out this video of The Cure performing live at last year’s Roskilde Festival:

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Posted on by Paul in Everything

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