by Jeff Bergau


My friends. My brothers and sisters in music. With a shredded heart and a soul full of life-changing memories, I’m announcing that we’ll be closing the club on June 30. It’s been a gut-wrenching decision after weathering through this pandemic, but alas the universe has spoken.

Chris and our entire instructor team have done an amazing job to keep the club running during this insanely challenging time in history, all while enhancing the overall experience for us. Not to mention working to grow membership to a point of financial sustainability. Unfortunately, membership hasn’t grown enough to achieve profitability. So, after nine years of connecting people with themselves and others through music, it’s time for our final coda.

Since launching the club in 2014, we’ve placed our focus almost entirely on making sure every single member has an incredible experience in every interaction with the club. With no business analog to follow, our team over the years has laid out some extreme creativity not only in music, but in business and customer service. Together, we all feel great about the experiences we helped create and live alongside you. Unfortunately, after trying many different approaches, we never were able to create enough critical mass to sustain the club without some sort of subsidy. After seeing April numbers, the swan is singing.

I think we need to go out on top. So, let’s have one killer farewell show. We’ve canceled the May show at Reggies, and will host one final gig on June 25. We want to celebrate all of you and what you’ve done to make Altered Stage Chicagoland’s most beautiful and unique musical community. We’re tossing the theme out the window since it’s our farewell tour, so I invite you to sign up to play any song/songs you’ve wanted to play. We’ll work with Reggies to make room. And please, please invite and encourage as many folks as you can to come and pack the house. Our cover charge proceeds after paying for the room and sound guy go to our instructors who put a ton of time and energy into every single gig to coordinate, rehearse, haul equipment, learn songs, make videos, etc. Let’s give some final love and sell that room out. Oh, and this invite is extended to all of our Altered family out there – please feel free to reach out to me (jeff.bergau@alteredstage.com) or Chris (chris.medici@alteredstage.com) if you’d like to get in the mix on this last hurrah.

After June 30, I would hope that the family we’ve created will find a way to live and possibly even grow. We’ll be sure to send out the most recent contact info for all our instructors, whom I strongly encourage you to continue to work with. I’d also encourage you to get together periodically at places like the Music Garage to stay connected and perhaps take your musical journey into an entirely unexpected direction. Invite new members to join our Slack group. Work with Reggies to perhaps book a gig or two. But man, keep playing together.

Other than freeing up everyone’s Memorial Day weekend, it will be business as usual for the next two months. We’ll true up all of you Annual and Quarterly members to make sure we’re financially and karmically settled. Chris will likely reach out with nuts and bolts info over the weeks ahead, and feel free to contact him or me with any questions. I’ll be traveling until May 17, but will reengage after that.

I’m looking forward to seeing you around the club in the coming weeks and at Reggies in June.

With love and in music,


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