Happy Birthday to The DLC, Downtown’s Year-Old Music Club

The DLC is a small, vibrant music club located deep in the heart of downtown’s popular arcade bar Quarters. Over the past year, the spot’s become a quality small room option for touring bands criss-crossing the west, as well as a much-needed venue for local musicians to headline a weekend night show.

After a year in business, certain patterns have started to emerge, none of them lost on the club’s manager, Shaina Floyd.

“I love doing this because I often hear local bands that I would’ve never found otherwise,” Floyd says. “And honestly, it’s really cool to be able to start hosting slightly-larger touring bands and then getting to pair local bands with those touring bands.”

Running a music schedule five days a week, Floyd sees the touring bands earlier in the week, as they make their to/from Denver and Seattle and other western villages. On the weekends, three-band local bills tend to predominate in a space that’s licensed for 200 concert-goers.

Despite the heavy commitment to local sounds, Floyd admits that for the first year, attendance has been “completely hit-or-miss.” That’s thanks to a few factors: COVID regulations and the public’s on/off desire to attend live events; local bands arguably playing too many shows in the market; and folks still finding the venue for the first time, even after 12 months of operation.

There is a bit of a secret weapon that The DLC enjoys, as dozens of folks are playing old-style arcade games in the space, seemingly at any time the bar’s open. Some serious numbers come through on the weekends, when nearby State Street is humming. Floyd says that “stragglers” from Quarters’ “captive audience” have been known to hear sounds that appeal to them, drifting into the room after arriving at Quarters with no intention of catching live music.

In the next year, The DLC may see some very light programming tweaks.

“I’d like to do more events for the holidays,” Floyd says, “and more social events. Maybe have people come up with idea for special showcases. I’d like to get an acoustic night going and different monthly events. We really want to help build the music scene.”

At some point in 2022, there’s a good chance that a second Quarters will be operation. This one will be in Sugarhouse, with a smaller footprint and a kitchen but without an indoor music venue. Construction’s been underway for a bit and the owners have become regulars at the monthly meetings of the DABC in order to stake their claim to an upcoming license.

As that process plays out, The DLC will be hosting its first anniversary party, an event slated for Saturday, May 28. A Battle of the Bands will be featured that night, with Scheissters, Strawberry Cough, Slick Velveteens, Cudney and Beneath the Sparrows taking part. The winner receives a trophy and a cool $1,000. It’s a 21 and up event with $5 tickets pre-sold at quartersslc.com.

The DLC’s first year of operation has been a process, the room’s brightly-colored stage, full bar and rock’n’roll-plus booking policy finding a foothold. Floyd figures that the club’s growth is both mirroring and pushing along the overall local scene.

On becoming a true music city, Floyd figures that “We’re getting there. There are a lot more venues opening up, including downtown. So we’re slowly getting there.”

If You Go

5 E. 400 South, SLC

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Thomas Crone
Thomas Crone
A freshly-minted transplant to Salt Lake City, arriving here in January of 2022, Thomas Crone serves as the Music Editor of City Weekly, while also contributing online coverage of the local music, arts and food/beverage communities to Salt Lake magazine. Unlike many of his new kinfolk, he prefers the indoors.

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