Melanie Gibson, Staff Writer
It is with heavy hearts all-around that we learn of the closing of The Furnace. One of the last guardians of underground D.I.Y. shows, The Furnace has always managed to avoid being shut down by the city. After hosting their last show Monday Jan. 25, the venue will close due to its recent sale.
The Furnace was the brainchild of Norton Lucas (a fellow student of Armstrong) and the home away from home to Rachel Webster, a seasoned member of the DIY scene of Savannah. Lucas describes their relationship as him being the iron fist and Webster the all-seeing eye.
Lucas explained the birth and life of The Furnace: the venue’s previous occupant, Casa Rosa, had to shut down due to financial difficulty and the lease being taken over, so he himself accepted the lease.
The first show held at the new building was a live mural painting. Shifting slowly from art toward music, one by one, each event began to have a higher turnout. Soon, more widely known bands and individual musicians began making appearances at The Furnace, leading the hot and smelly basement to become well-known in the underground music scene.
In addition to hosting local and traveling talent in Savannah, The Furnace was also a contributor to Food Not Bombs, a worldwide group of secular, autonomous chapters designed to provide community outreach in regards to stopping hunger.
The Furnace has helped welcome new, loyal show-goers and established itself as a tolerant, friendly space. Lucas and Webster have expressed desire to continue the warm atmosphere at a new location with better sound equipment, a community garden, gallery and amenities such as Wi-Fi. Be on the lookout for the Savannah Furnace GoFundMe page to support a part of the local Savannah music community.
In the meantime, other Savannah DIY spaces include Morningwood Los Angeles, The Quolab, Techno Chapel, and the Erasery to name a few. Contact for addresses.