THE BLACK SHEEP CAFE
About THE BLACK SHEEP CAFE
The Black Sheep is an all ages art space in the historic old south town neighborhood in Springfield, IL. We are an alcohol and drug free establishment.
What began pretty much on a whim, an urge, and a leap of faith became realized when a group of friends that were in various local Springfield bands decided to start an all ages space in August of 2005. At the time there was a dire need to start something for our community and have a positive, all ages enviorment that was fun and safe. So in August of that year an empty building next to Skank Skates began to be renovated and reorganized to house the space. Shortly thereafter we had our first show which was a benefit, September 17th. At that initial outing bands that would go on to germinate and pollinate various local bands all played the event. The beginings of our modern ska scene (Bastognes Best), metal scene (The Mourning After), and straight edge scene (Solemn Vow) all played as well as other local stallwarts.
The first year was tough. Many changes were made to the building to bring it up to code and the original owners and bands with the help of George Sinclair made it happen. After the initial buzz of the venue began to fade and regular show goers began to congregate, an identity and far reaching goal and purpose were still yet to be attained. The shows were consistent but with all things you do on a leap of faith you have to learn what works and what doesn’t. Some shows were good, some were bad. Also through the summer of 2006 many touring bands began to play The Sheep and our vision began to be expanded beyond our local scene only. Many bands that rose to prominence in the American underground in the mid 2000’s began to come through. The original tours were sometimes shaky but also fun.
Towards the end of July of 2006 the only original owner left was Kevin. For various reasons the other owners all had to step down over the spring/summer of that year. After their departures the future of The Sheep looked iffy. In their absence Kevin began to assemble a crew of people that called the place home to help him keep it afloat. Fortunately for him people cared and the idea that a DIY space for the community was in fact a good idea. Since then we have been trucking along through the last seven years trying to improve our city through the music and arts. We sincerely appreciate all who have helped, and continue to help out.
To all the bands, kids, and volunteers who help to keep us open we appreciate you very much! We do not make money. Kevin has never taken a dime home, neither has anyone who helps out. We put everything back into this because we believe in it. We never had much but each other and a good time, but that was all we needed.