Filipino venue Conspiracy Garden Cafe has shut down after 19 years

The venue will be holding a farewell fundraiser on August 19

Popular Filipino gig venue Conspiracy Garden Cafe has ceased operations after 19 years of hosting acts like Ebe Dancel and Ben&Ben.

The venue, which was opened in December 2003 by musicians Gary Granada, Noel Cabangon, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, and Cynthia Alexander, hosted acoustic gigs while also being a centre for arts, political discussion and civil society activism. Known to regulars as ‘Conspi’, the venue will hold a farewell event on August 19 from 3pm.

According to a Facebook post by managing director Raul Banzuela on August 1, the management of the venue will be holding a shareholders meeting that same day to determine whether Conspiracy continues as an institution.

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Last live… And last night at thiis place. After 19 years, Conspi bids farewell. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat🙏🙏🙏

Posted by Conspiracy Garden Cafe on Sunday, July 31, 2022

Banzuela also invited “all artists who love the place to render songs and poetries for free” on behalf of the venue to the farewell event, which will also be a fundraiser aiming to raise PHP500,000. The money will be used to pay for existing liabilities and will serve as seed capital for Conspiracy if the shareholders decide to continue.

Tributes for the venue have begun pouring in from musicians and civil society members. Senator and journalist Risa Hontiveros shared a picture of herself with Cabangon, writing, “Thank you and goodbye” alongside a broken heart, while rockers The Stereo Scope left a comment on a video of the venue’s last official gig that read, ‎”Thank you very much for the opportunity to play. We’ll miss you.”

See more reactions from Filipino artists below.

Hanggang sa muli, Conspiracy. Magkikita tayo muli. Salamat at paalam muna

Posted by Ebe Dancel on Monday, August 1, 2022

7 years ago na ang mga larawang ito. Unang pagkakataon makatapak sa entablado ng Conspi.Nakakalungkot na kailangan…

Posted by Rianismo on Sunday, July 31, 2022

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I heard that Conspiracy Garden Cafe will finally close its doors tonight. There was a sadness in me when I learned about…

Posted by Allen Young on Sunday, July 31, 2022

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