Save the Big Dipper!

Help us to restore one of Spokane, Washington's most beloved music venues, the Big Dipper!
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Dan Hoerner
Email Verified
Small Business
Spokane, Washington
United States
1 Team Member

THE BIG DIPPER

There’s a funky blue building at the corner of Second Avenue and Washington Street in my hometown of Spokane, Washington.

It has a painting on the side of a beautiful young woman sitting on the constellation Ursa Major, aka the Big Dipper.

Once upon a time, the Big Dipper was a bastion of rock music, radical ideas and home to some really creative people. It was a place that inspired me to become a musician myself. I'm trying to save the Big Dipper — and I need your help to do that. 

WHO AM I? 

My name is Dan Hoerner. You probably don’t know me, but it’s possible that if you were a music-loving nerd in the mid-to-late 90’s you might have stumbled across my band, Sunny Day Real Estate. We had the good fortune to make a few well-received songs, but alas, it wasn’t meant to last. 

After I flunked out of the music industry, I retired to a farm in Eastern Washington and found out I was a lot more suited to growing garlic than being a rock star. I live back in Spokane now with my wife Dawson and our three children, and we pursue a relatively quiet life away from the spotlight.

HELP ME SAVE THE BIG DIPPER...

Last year I heard that one of the iconic Spokane rock clubs from my youth, the historic Big Dipper, was in ruins and getting so bad the place was in danger of being lost forever.

A few years ago, I wasn’t able to do anything to save another one of my favorite local venues, 123 Arts, from being turned into a parking lot. I decided that I wasn’t going to let the same thing happen to another Spokane landmark.

So I put together a team of like-minded-fools and we all pinky-swore to each other that we would do whatever was necessary to save the building. It took more blood, sweat and tears to restore the place than any of us could have imagined. It took everything we had, physically and financially, for us to get it done. And now it's back! The Big Dipper is ready to rock again! Almost...

I’m reaching out to you today because we’re SO close to being able to reopen the Big Dipper as a world-class music venue in Spokane — but I need your help to get it done.

WHAT WE NEED: FIRE SPRINKLERS!

When we reached out to the city of Spokane to let them know that we wanted to re-open the Big Dipper and start having shows there again, they said, ‘OK, you can have a maximum of 110 people in your building at any one time.’ 110 people??!! We can fit 110 people* into one of our bathrooms! (* Note - hyperbole, do not attempt.)

But seriously, there is no way that a venue of our size, location and cost-to-maintain can support itself with that occupancy. Impossible. Can’t be done. Not gonna happen.

The only solution to raising our occupancy is to install a modern sprinkler system — but that’s going to cost upwards of $50,000.

Before you ask, let me just come out and say it: I am not rich. In fact, only one member of Sunny Day Real Estate ever made any money from music and it was because he got drafted into a better band.

That's where YOU come in. If you love Spokane, if you love rock and roll, if you love historic bastions of radical free speech and independent thinking... or maybe you're just guilty about all that free Sunny Day Real Estate you downloaded in the 90's... help us out with a few bucks so we can save the Dipper! Please.

We’ve got tons of awesome incentives that we’ll give you in return for your help, and  you will have a much greater chance of not dying in a fire when you come down to see your favorite band up close and personal.

So please help us save the Big Dipper — a place that’s very special to me, and a very important piece of Spokane music history.

WHAT YOU GET IN RETURN: 

For a $5 donation: 

We are so grateful for your help, and we'll send you a thank you note. You are awesome. 

For a $15 donation: 

You get a pass to the show of your choice at the Big Dipper. (We will have your name on a list at the door.)

For a $25 donation:

You get TWO passes to the show of your choice at the Big Dipper. (We will have your name on a list at the door.)

For a $35 donation:

The Big Dipper Tshirt! Featuring art by Spokane artists Chris Bovey and Derrick King, this shirt features the legendary Big Dipper lady, Ms. Ursa Nightingale. Available in men's and women's styles on a black tshirt.


For a $40 donation:

The Heart of Spokane shirt! Designed by Portland artist, musician and toy designer Derek Welch. Available in men's and women's styles on a grey tshirt.


For a $45 donation: 

The "Center of the Galaxy" print: a 9 x 19-inch poster designed and hand-screened by Spokane artist and lifelong local music supporter, Derrick King. 


For a $60 donation: 

The "Heart of Spokane" print: a 19 x 25-inch poster, designed and screenprinted by Portland toy designer and wannabe Spokanite, Derek Welch.

For a $100 donation: 

You get one shirt of your choice, one print of your choice and a pass to two shows at the Big Dipper. We will keep your name on a list at the door.

For a $250 donation: 

An annual pass to the Big Dipper! You can come to shows for one year! We will keep your name on our list of annual pass-holders at the door. 

For a $750 donation: 

We'll roll down the full sized movie screen for you and 100 of your friends for an exclusive movie party. (Limited to Monday-Thursday). We'll give you the private movie experience of a lifetime!

For a $5000 donation: 

We love you. You get a lifetime pass to shows at the Big Dipper. 

For a $25,000 donation: 

Your Name shall be inscribed on a plaque and hung above the stage. Henceforth the stage shall be known as The (Your Name) Memorial Stage. You can come to shows at the Big Dipper for free for life.

Video and music by Joe Preston

Find This Campaign On
$6,150USD
raised by 126 people in 2 months
12% funded
0 time left
$50,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on April 23, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Thank You!

    High five! We’ll send you a thank you note. Thank you for doing your part to save the Big Dipper!

    7 claimed
  • $15USD
    Free Show

    You get one free pass to any show of your choice at the Big Dipper.

    9 claimed
  • $25USD
    Two Shows

    You get two free passes to any shows of your choice at the Big Dipper.

    10 claimed
  • $35USD
    The Big Dipper Shirt

    Designed by Spokane artists Chris Bovey and Derrick King, this black tshirt features the legendary Ursa Nightingale. Available in men’s and women’s styles. Printed locally.

    50 claimed
  • $40USD
    Heart of Spokane Shirt

    Designed by Portland artist and toy designer (and wannabe Spokanite) Derek Welch, this gray shirt pays tribute to some of Spokane's landmarks and legendary bands. Available in men's and women's styles. Printed locally.

    6 claimed
  • $45USD
    Center of the Galaxy Print

    A screen-printed 9 x 19-inch poster, designed by Spokane artist and lifelong local music fan, Derrick King.

    3 claimed
  • $60USD
    Heart of Spokane Print

    A screen printed 19 x 25-inch poster designed by Portland artist and toy designer (and wannabe Spokanite) Derek Welch.

    7 claimed
  • $100USD
    Shirt + Print + Two Shows

    Your choice of one t-shirt, one print and two free passes to any shows of your choice at the Big Dipper.

    24 claimed
  • $250USD
    Annual Big Dipper Pass

    You get unlimited access to all Big Dipper shows for one year.

    1 claimed
  • $750USD
    Movie Party!

    We'll roll down the full sized movie screen for you and 100 of your friends for an exclusive movie party. (Limited to Monday-Thursday) We'll give you the private movie experience of a lifetime!

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Big Dipper Lifetime Pass

    We love you. You can come to shows at the Big Dipper forever for free.

    0 claimed
  • $25,000USD
    Your Name Here

    You scare us. Your Name shall be inscribed on a plaque and hung above the stage. Henceforth the stage shall be known as The (Your Name) Memorial Stage. You can come to shows at the Big Dipper for free for life.

    0 out of 1 claimed
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