First Avenue? More like First A-Van-Shoe.
Now that I’ve got your attention in the most brilliant way possible, here’s the news: First Avenue has partnered with Vans for “a customizable First Avenue-themed slip-on.” The shoe is speckled with stars, just like the club’s exterior walls. And you can, of course, tinge it purple.
The kicks are being rolled out part of the "Foot the Bill" program, with proceeds going directly to the club. If you’re going stir-crazy right now, you can spend hours customizing and re-customizing here, though you probably shouldn’t spend too long designing your ideal footwear, 'cause they're limited edition.
With concertgoing still on indefinite hiatus for do-I-really-need-to-say-why?, First Ave has joined other businesses in seeking out new revenue streams, and merch seems an obvious choice. Why, even some media publications sell branded merch these days. What a world!
In other First Ave news, the company has teamed up with other independent venues nationwide for the National Independent Venue Association. The new org will lobby Congress for support and share business survival strategies among its members. Other NIVA members include 9:30 Club in D.C., First Avenue in Minneapolis, Chicago Independent Venue League, World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, Pabst Theater Group in Milwaukee, Red River Cultural District in Austin, and Exit/In in Nashville.
And if you’re looking to support the folks who work at clubs like First Ave, donations can still be made to funds like the Twin Cities Community Trust.