.Lost Church in Trouble

Musician Josh Windmiller drives fundraiser

The Lost Church, your Bohemian “Best of” Sonoma County venue, is moving house! A conflict with Santa Rosa’s erratic permitting department over the 4-year-old venue’s converted garage space has moved forward plans to seek a permanent downtown location.

According to Crux bandleader and L.C. fundraiser Josh Windmiller, the space in the old Press Democrat building always served as a proof-of-concept. Their pandemic-tested model roundly proved itself with the hosting of 134 shows of all genre stripes during the last year and the organizing of the beloved Railroad Square Music Festival—a free all-day music festival staging 20-plus local bands and bandas.

CH: Tell us about the unique position this venue has in the scene.

music in the park san jose
music in the park san jose

JW: There are many more artists who need a 75-seat theater than there are who need a 750-seat theater. The Lost Church serves these grassroots performers who form the cultural foundation of any community. Our small size also allows us to keep our costs for running the theater low, allowing us to have lower prices and to take chances on up-and-coming performers.

CH: We understand the importance of music. What is the importance of local music?

JW: Local music has an important impact on the identity and economy of any community. It is through this medium that we share our stories with one another, see a broad representation of the cultures around us and share physical space together.

CH: While there are plenty of one-off parties and record releases, could you name some of the series? And bring in our local poets, local comedians and local storytellers that you show.

JW: There is the Full LP series, where local artists come together to play their favorite albums cover to cover; Minor Beats Youth Open Mic; StandProv, which is half stand-up/ half comedy improv; Found Poets; A Melodious Affair, which teams hip-hop MCs with a live band; and Stanroy Song Service—songwriters in the round playing songs and telling the stories behind them.

We are kicking off our new venue fundraising campaign with an open house block party Saturday, June 29. There will be a marching band, classic cars, a variety show revival, Moonlight beer, tacos and more!

Help Out. The narrative of a cool thing starting up and crashing down in downtown Santa Rosa is a broken record. Change the narrative! Scan this QR for links to donate, watch old Lost Church shows or hear Josh Windmiller’s music—it’s our sound.

Scan me.

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