Off of Federal Boulevard and 7th Avenue lives Seventh Circle Music Collective, the beloved, grimy, graffiti covered, DIY hotspot of Denver. DIY or “do it yourself” is a mentality that lives within all local music scenes. DIY venues are spaces ran by music lovers for music lovers in order to create a space for new bands and artists to perform and practice. Seventh Circle is an exceptional example of how a DIY space can flourish. Seven days a week, 365 days a year, local and touring artists take the stage and entertain anywhere from 10-200 people.
While the space has existed as a DIY venue for many years it has only been operated by Aaron Saye as Seventh Circle Music Collective for the past 5 years. While the shows often vary in both genre and crowd size, some of the bigger acts that have played Seventh Circle include; Real Friends, Tiger’s Jaw, Agent Orange, and many more. But, Seventh Circle isn’t only about providing a venue for touring bands, it also helps provide a network for young and aspiring artists to get their start.
One local band from Denver, The Rotten Blue Menace, is an exceptional example of this. The Rotten Blue Menace were a ska-core band that set a high example of the growing Denver punk scene for the past 5 years. They grew out of DIY venues and through the help of the DIY scene and Aaron Saye they were able to play larger venues with larger crowds and successfully tour the USA. We asked Jack, from Rotten Blue Menace, on how Seventh Circle contributed to their growth:
“Seventh Circle and it’s owner, Aaron Saye were incredibly influential in not only starting the Rotten Blue Menace but also any minor success we experienced. We played our first five shows at Seventh Circle and one of those shows was where we met Earl Skow and Chance Arnold; two of the members of RBM’s final lineup. Also, after we formed a relationship with Aaron Saye and he felt we were ready, he helped us get on bigger shows at venues such as The Gothic Theater, The Bluebird, The Marquis Theater, and many more. Without Seventh Circle and Aaron Saye, I don’t know if I would still be playing music.”
There would be no Seventh Circle without Aaron Saye, a devoted, driven, friendly music lover who is the heart and soul of the Seventh Circle DIY community. We asked Aaron Saye, the owner of Seventh Circle why he does what he does and what the local music scene means to him:
“The local music scene means everything to me. When I started Seventh Circle with a small and dedicated group of volunteers, our primary objective was to preserve and maintain an independent music venue that gives unknown musicians a place to play, to grow, to hone their craft, and to let their creativity flourish. What it has become is something so much more than any of us expected; it’s become a hub for many people in Colorado to not only perform their music, but to meet each other, to network, and to form friendships and musical projects. We also book and host shows for touring musicians from around the world, which is a huge and wonderful part of what we do, but the best part about Seventh Circle for me personally is the impact it has had on the local music scene. Many of my favorite bands today are comprised of people I met because of Seventh Circle, and in a lot of cases, their bands exist because they met each other through Seventh Circle as well. I’m beyond proud and lucky to call these people my friends, and I’m very humbled to know that I’ve played even some small role in the existence of such pure, honest, creative and powerful music.”
Seventh Circle is a one of a kind home to many Denver musicians and a vital part of Denver’s music scene. The price to get in is a donation going to the upkeep of the venue. All profits go towards improving the space. So, if you like supporting music, big or small, you might want to check out Seventh Circle Music Collective.