A flyer promoting the Atlantis, a new music venue opening in Washington, D.C.
The opening lineup of the Atlantis; courtesy of I.M.P.

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Atlantis will no longer be just a mythical island submerged in the Atlantic Ocean. On May 30, I.M.P., the independent promoter that owns and operates 9:30 Club and the Anthem and operates Lincoln Theatre and Merriweather Post Pavilion, is opening the newest—or is it the oldest?—member of its venue family. To celebrate the new space, and 9:30 Club’s more than four decades in the District, they’ve announced a stacked lineup through September.

Most D.C. music lovers know that 9:30 Club, now at 815 V Street NW, originated at 930 F St. NW (hence the name). But what’s less known is that another club, the Atlantis, briefly called 930 F Street home first for about a year in 1978. Now, I.M.P. is bringing everything full circle when it opens the Atlantis, a venue similar in size to the original club, on the day of 9:30’s 44th anniversary. Foo Fighters, with Springfield native and D.C. music ambassador Dave Grohl, will headline the opening event. 

It makes sense, seeing as it was Grohl who first told the District about I.M.P.’s new venue back in September 2021. Following its long COVID shutdown, 9:30 Club reopened its doors with a special show from the Foos, at which Grohl declared that a new stage was coming to town. “We’ll probably be the band that opens that place, too,” he added. “Right?” 

What came first—Grohl’s probing question or I.M.P.’s decision—is unclear, but Foo Fighters will play the inaugural show at the Atlantis. It’s a nice homage to Grohl’s long musical career: His previous bands Scream and Nirvana both played the original club. Following Foo Fighters is a motley lineup, including performances by Maggie Rogers, Living Colour, Hot Chip, the Pixies, Yo La Tengo, Sylvan Esso, Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton, Joan Jett, Gary Clark Jr., Bartees Strange, and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Tickets for the opening celebration shows, taking place between May 30 and Sept. 29, will be available for $44 a piece. They will be “sold via lottery style process with protections to ensure real fans attend the shows,” notes the press release.

Though Atlantis will be situated next to today’s 9:30 Club, the idea is to turn back the clock to heydays of the original location. The $10 million, 450-capacity venue is aiming for the analog days, minus the infamous rats and rancid smell that permeated F Street for the club’s existence. 

“We’ve been doing our smallest shows in other people’s venues for too many years now. We needed a place that’s ours,” Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P., said in the press release announcing the new venue. “Our smallest venue will be treated as important, if not more, than our bigger venues. If the stories are told right, both the artists and the fans begin their hopefully long-term relationship, and we as promoters do better too.”

Indeed, up-and-coming artists break into the scene and fans’ hearts on small stages before they ever book a show at the likes of 9:30 Club. (In 2021, DC9’s owner Bill Spieler told City Paper that smaller stages are the “driving force of getting bands started.”) Already, the Atlantis is dubbing itself as the place “Where Music Begins,” and intends to give artists a “new, intimate home to connect with fans.”

While the inaugural run of performances—44 to honor 9:30’s 44th anniversary—feature big names in varying genres, Hurwitz confirms in the release that, “after the opening series, our intention is to book only the shows that matter.” 

Hurwitz continued, “We want people to rely on us to tell them that someday you will say you saw them when. We have no calendar to fill. We will curate like no other venue.”

Grohl, recalling the original 9:30 location back in September, said: “That’s where Nirvana  played first … Magic happened in that room. And if the new room has the same vibe as the old 9:30 Club, you’ll see some real magic there, too.” 

For its first run of shows, the Atlantis will use Ticketmaster Request, which is now available at theatlantis.com and will run through Friday, April 7, at 11:59 p.m. Those who enter will find out next week if their ticket requests have been fulfilled. Foo Fighters open the Atlantis on May 30; the full lineup is below. theatlantis.com

May 30: Foo Fighters 

May 31: The Walkmen 

June 2: Hot Chip 

June 3: Rainbow Kitten Surprise 

June 4: Modern English 

June 5: Franz Ferdinand 

June 6: Pixies 

June 9: Tank and the Bangas 

June 10: Yo La Tengo 

June 16: Marc Roberge of O.A.R. 

June 17: Hannibal Buress + Eshu Tune 

June 19: Sylvan Esso 

June 20: Darius Rucker 

June 24: Rodrigo y Gabriela 

June 25: X 

June 28: Jeff Tweedy 

July 2: Barenaked Ladies 

July 6: Tegan and Sara 

July 7: The Head and The Heart 

July 15: The Magnetic Fields 

July 20: Clutch 

July 21: Jenny Lewis 

July 23: The Struts 

July 27: Third Eye Blind 

July 28: Portugal. The Man 

July 29: Living Colour 

July 30: Iron & Wine 

Aug. 5: Gogol Bordello 

Aug. 6: Bush 

Aug. 8: Shakey Graves 

Aug. 10: Drive-By Truckers 

Aug. 14: Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton 

Aug. 17: Thievery Corporation 

Aug. 27: Joan Jett 

Aug. 28: Gary Clark Jr. 

Sept. 2: Ben Gibbard 

Sept. 6: Luna 

Sept. 9: Bartees Strange 

Sept. 13: Spoon 

Sept. 15: Tove Lo 

Sept. 17: Billy Idol 

Sept. 21: Bastille 

Sept. 22: Matt and Kim 

Sept. 29: Maggie Rogers