NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Good Vibes Concert Hall at Newport News’ City Center at Oyster Point is closing just nine months after opening due to continued noise complaints.
The venue made the announcement Thursday on Facebook, saying “we had a great time and wanted nothing more than to have a local spot for live music in Newport News and were happy to and lucky to have it for when we did.”
They said the 1,100-person venue on Merchants Walk wasn’t originally designed to be a music venue, and neighbors at the nearby Point at City Center complained not so much about the overall decibel levels/volume, but the “wall shaking” caused by the bass coming from the venue.
“It seems that large circumference rain runoff and/or drainage or sewage pipes under our building connect to the neighboring buildings,” Good Vibes said. “Though we have multiple times proven that the sound level is within the legal range (by using a decibel or DB meter when police officers have come, to evidence the sound volume is within the law) the frequencies that are causing the problems cannot be avoided without significantly reducing the bass volume.”
The Point condo complex opened back in 2008 and the retail area of Oyster Point opened in 2009. The Good Vibes space was originally a “Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar,” which ended up owing City Center’s landlord millions after failing to pay rent. The nationwide chain (which Keith doesn’t have ownership stake in) supposedly was built for live music in mind, but has faced lawsuits over accusations of unethical business practices such as failing to pay workers.
Boathouse Live, a music venue that paid homage to Norfolk’s storied former venue, eventually took its place, but closed in the location in 2019 after its owners said it failed to get enough big acts to consistently perform.
Good Vibes said getting rid of bass “renders booking most of the best artists impossible and presents a material and substantial burden on the business operation that we cannot overcome.”
“We cannot continue to operate this business for the business purpose originally intended and contemplated, despite our deep investment and good faith.”
The venue opened back in December and offered an array of artists. They most recently hosted rapper Slick Rick and had a “Reggae Fest.” The legendary George Clinton was there in February and 5-time Grammy winner and Hampton Roads native Victor Wooten performed in May.
The owners haven’t indicated that they plan on reopening at another spot any time soon, but encouraged the public to support other local venues such as The Vanguard in Hampton and the NorVa in Norfolk in the meantime.