El Mocambo
The El Mocambo Vlad Podvorny / CC BY

Toronto’s El Mocambo Inches Towards Reopening

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The long-running Toronto tavern and concert venue El Mocambo appears to be on track to re-open in March.

Located within walking distance from the University of Toronto campus, the El Mocambo has played a key role in the development of Toronto’s music scene since it was repurposed into a live music venue in 1972. The venue, which featured a house band that included Donnie Walsh’s Downchild Blues Band, hosted events such as the surprise 1977 concert by The Rolling Stones and served as a performing space for artists ranging from Arlo Guthrie and Tom Waits, to U2.

The club, which went dark at the end of 2014 for a major refurb, has been in limbo since. In 2017, Ticketmaster announced that it had been named as the ticketing vendor for the El Mocambo, which planned to reopen in the Spring of 2018, but that planned date later fell by the wayside.

Hope for the club’s prospects was revived against last week Canadian country musician Corb Lund announced plans for a show at the venue in May, but as Now Toronto reported, the show was later moved to Toronto’s Great Hall instead.

However, El Mocambo may still be lined up for a spring reopening. Club manager Andy Curran told Toronto Now that the club was in talks with Canadian Music Week as a potential host venue.

“We expect to open soon, but I’ve said it eight times in a row and I’ve been wrong, so I think I best not be saying anything too definite right now,” club owner Michael Wekerle added. “But very soon.”

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