Denver DIY space Mouth House shut down, two of its tenants due in court today, a month later

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Exactly a month ago today, the Mouth House was closed, and two of its tenants are due in court today facing charges of distribution of alcohol without a license. On Saturday, October 26, just as the first band was starting its set at the DIY house venue, two undercover cops (one reportedly in a Dropkick Murphys t-shirt) infiltrated the show and shut the place down. Since then, all of the folks living there have been asked to vacate the house at 2828 California Street.

See also: Best of Denver 2012: Best House Shows - Mouth House

"Over the summer, the cops were showing up to some shows," says one of the tenants, who asked to remain anonymous. "So they put together a little sting operation on us. We were planning on having a big Halloween show, and they sent in two undercover cops -- just as the show was getting started.

"They were vice cops," the tenant goes on. "So guess they were looking for drugs and alcohol. They gave two tickets to two of the roommates -- then, because of this whole mess, our landlord gave us a week to get out." The landlord was purportedly fully aware that Mouth House was being used as a living and show space. There were nine people on the lease, which was month-to-month.

There were a few incidents with events at Mouth House in the recent past evidently that did get out of hand, enough so that the landlord intervened -- but again, she was well aware of its use as a DIY space, and the agreement was that tenants were going to tone it down and not destroy the place.

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Dean Keim
Sauna, live at Mouth House in July of 2012.

"We've been living here for like three years now," says the tenant, "so she definitely knew who we were and what we were doing." Apparently as the raid was going down -- which included several cop cars and more than a dozen officers -- the tenants were told that the police had been following Mouth House via social networking.

"They said they were using Facebook and a website [presence] we didn't create -- Songkick," says the tenant. "The cops said that Songkick was a big part of it because it looked like we were 'selling tickets,' although none of us listed the show on Songkick ourselves." Tickets were never sold for any shows at Mouth House, actually, nor was there a required amount of money owed at the door -- all shows were donation-based.

For more on this story, keep reading

Location Info

Map

Mouth House

2858 California St., Denver, CO

Category: Music


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14 comments
John T Wren
John T Wren

I never attended an event there, but I feel Nathan Lund said it best. There are bigger fish to fry. Hopefully the artists that called The Mouth House home will find a new place to grow. Good luck!

Kevin Kohl
Kevin Kohl

It was the crusty jewel of the DIY scene, so many shows, BBQs, good times with great people. The Mouth was a place where you could feel like family. It was grimy, putrid, and down right beautiful. I only hope my close friends can find a place to live in the middle of December in a city with ever increasing rent with a weeks notice. Its a shamw really, we're living in a world where the pigs are walking the dogs are drunk and the sheep are skinned and traded for their pelts.

Nel Echeverry
Nel Echeverry

:( was there a bathroom at Mouth House? / I always went out back /

Loo Gutz
Loo Gutz

Keep killing the DIY scene denver.....

xnofunx
xnofunx

@Micah Carmack all the dead heads at Cervantes

xnofunx
xnofunx

@Nel Echeverry yes there was.

drew.aslin
drew.aslin

@Aaron Betcher It is. They were GOOD people too! During the floods in Boulder, the Days Inn in South Boulder kicked me out of the hotel 2 days after my apartment got ruined, and left me out on the streets, despite the fact when I checked in, I specifically told them I was checking in and needed to stay until further notice. The people at Mouth House drove TWO AND A HALF HOURS through winding detours and backroads to Boulder to come rescue me and my dog to safety. My apartment, my car, AND my job were ALL RUINED up there. (It sucked that it happened, but in the end turned out to be a blessing in disguise because better things happened).

Not only that, they let me and my dog stay there for 3 1/2 weeks while we were displaced and I was trying to get my life back together after it turned a total 180. What Mouth House really deserves is community recognition, and they should not be left in infamy. They did good things in their short time there. It's a real shame that the police targeted a young and maybe not-as-posh crowd for everyday petty mischief, instead of focusing their attention on real problems like violence.

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