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Ironically, the Flying Anvil didn’t get off the ground

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They were joking, of course, when they named the club the “Flying Anvil,” a riff on the old Led Zeppelin story or maybe a harkening back to Wile E. Coyote’s weapon of choice.

So they may have been ironically surprised when they realized the downtown rock club with built-in street cred couldn’t get off the ground.

If you believe everything you read, in this publication and others, then you likely thought the Flying Anvil was exactly what this town needed: a big performance space with kickass sound and lighting and the kind of imaginative booking that would give people a reason to make the haul from our neighboring cities. It was supposed to be Greensboro’s Cat’s Cradle. Our downtown Ziggy’s. It was going to put us on the map, musically speaking.

But club owners Pete Schroth, Andrew Dudek and Brian Crean say they will shut the place down Dec. 30 unless a white knight comes to the fore. We are saddened by the loss.

So what the hell happened?

We have our suspicions. A dearth of foot traffic and parking, an issue with ALE procedures early on causing them to stumble out of the gate, maybe a little too much street cred and the sheer ambition of the project all played roles in the club’s demise.

But ultimately the blame for the loss of a very cool music club resides with the people of Greensboro.

That’s right, we’re talking to you: the people who gushed and ooh-ed when they heard the new high-occupancy venue was in the planning stages, who peeked in on construction and asked the guys how things were coming along, who brought up the club like a talking point when enthusing about the new direction in which Greensboro is heading’… and then never went there.

Sure there were other problems, but with the true and active support of the community it would have flourished.

A friend remarked a few weeks ago that if this town couldn’t get behind a cool club like the Anvil, then maybe we don’t deserve it.

How true.

Greensboro is trying to get past its image as an insular, provincial backwater, trying to forge a new incarnation as an enlightened and successful place using culture as a standard bearer.

Well here’s the deal: You can’t just say that Greensboro is this wonderful, thriving community. You must participate in the new opportunities this city has to offer, must actively experience the culture to keep it alive, must support the institutions you believe in – with your dollars and not your mouth – if you want them to survive, let alone prosper.

Because without active support, the advances of the last three years or so could come crashing to the ground. Like the Flying Anvil.

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