Fitzgerald’s to be Taken Over by Esteemed Sound Engineer and Person with V A G I N A Lauren Oakes
Esteemed Production-Manager and Person with Vagina Lauren Oakes to take over Fitzgerald's
By Omar Afra
Good news: the talented and respected Lauren Oakes will pick up the heartbeat at Houston’s most fabled music venue, Fitzgerald’s.
After the current operators of Fitzgerald’s announced they will be building a new large, concert venue off of North Main, the lingering question throughout the Houston music community has been, “so what happens now with Fitzgerald’s?” The beloved Houston landmark is undoubtedly the oldest standing and most venerated music hall in the city and has hosted everyone from James Brown, REM, Stevie Wonder, Bill Hicks, and more. Built in 1918 and owned by Sara Fitzgerald’s since the early 70’s, the Houston icon has seen various and sundry operators come in and out of the venue including yours truly before handing the reins to partners Jagi Katial and Johnny So.
Now, former Fitz Head Sound Engineer, Lauren Oakes, is slated to take over when the current operators lease ends this coming September along with partner Dacondo Casey. Oakes has run sound at just about every venue in Houston including Fitz, House of Blues, Warehouse Live, Mucky Duck, as well as managed stages at FPSF. When asked, Oakes said ambitiously that they plan to have doors open by October 1st after extensive renovations and sound and lights installations of which she will be personally designing. Focus will also be put on continuing to make Fitz a place people want to hang at after a show as opposed to many of the big box venues where people leave the moment the show is over. No word as to whether who will book the venue, manage production, or clean it’s hallowed toilets, but one thing is for sure people will continue to urinate and create feces at Fitzgerald’s.
On a personal note, I think this is super fucking dope news for the Houston music community. It is great to see another hard-nosed female fulfill the time-honored tradition of women-run music venues in Houston. Think about it. Leila from Rudyard’s, Dawn from Last Concert Cafe, Pam from Walter’s (R.I.P), Marianna from Avant Garden: all bad bitches nots to be fucked wit. That said, our city very well may see a glut of music venues with White Oak Music Hall, the ‘new, new’ Fitz, rumblings about the former Axiom becoming a venue again, a proposed venue for mid-town, as well as a Cynthia Woods type venue being built off 59 near Sugarland (this actually sounds way better than driving to the fucking Woodlands though nothing about Sugarland sounds cool, ever.) Stay tuned, more news to come.