In wake of the tragic fire at the Ghost Ship art collective in Oakland, authorities across the country have been rigorously cracking down on unsafe DIY artist communes and venues. One such venue in Denver has been the subject of an inspection prompted by local complaints, and was subsequently shut down.
On Dec. 9th, Denver Fire Department raided and shut down the venue known as Rhinoceropolis (also known as RiNo) citing numerous fire code violations as the reason the structure was deemed , after receiving several complaints days after tbe tragic events in Oakland.
Rhinoceropolis has hosted musical performances, arts shows, and community events over the past 11 years, and at the time of the inspection, a reported five inhabitants were residing inside the structure. As the result of the building being deemed uninhabitable, they were summarily and immediately evicted from the propery.
The Denver Fire Department released the following statement with regards to the eviction:
“The displaced individuals were offered housing assistance however that assistance was declined. Individuals from numerous city agencies will meet with the building owner tomorrow to discuss next steps and those with belongings in the building will be allowed back into the building briefly, under the watch of a Fire Prevention Technician, to collect the remainder of their personal items.”
Some of the notable bands who’ve performed in the past are HEALTH, Future Islands, No Age, Dan Deacon, Women, Lightning Bolt, and Vivian Girls.
Communities have voiced their recognition and support for the importance of artist collaboration spaces and venues like Rhinoceropolis, but recent events have brought the very real needs of safety protocol adherence to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and it’s without question that this will not be the last such venue closing.
Follow this developing story at the Denver Post.