February 22 will mark the end of an era in Augusta’s local music scene. All-ages venue Sector 7G will host its last show and close its doors for good.
The venue was first opened in 2005 by Nick Laws, and was most recently owned and operated by Bryan Levy with help from his family. Over the past nine years, Sector 7G has hosted national and local bands and has become something of an institution.
“February 25, 2005, was our first show,” Laws said. “It was a punk show. I remember Sick, Sick, Sick played. We had a lot of punk shows when we first opened. I want to say Sick, Sick, Sick played every week for at least a month there.”
In 2011, Levy took over the business and has been running it ever since. He says that a combination of economic factors and other work ventures have lead to the decision to close Sector 7G.
“My father works out of town now and he was a huge help,” Levy explained. “My brother is a full-time college student at SCAD, and I took a job touring, running sound full-time with a band out of Nashville. So everybody who was actively involved is no longer able to help and it really does take a full-time involvement to keep things rolling.”
Both Levy and Laws have fond memories of being involved in the development of the venue and attribute their enjoyment and the venue’s evolution to the people and the music that Sector 7G has drawn in over the years. The community has shown an outpouring of support and emotion, as well as a bit of surprise and confusion, at the announcement of the closing.
“When we released that we were closing and that our final show was on February 22, at first a lot of people were all ‘Holy moley! What’s going on? I can’t believe it’s closing!’ and a lot of support saying it’ll be missed and how much people enjoyed coming to Sector and seeing some of their first shows,” Levy said. “I guess for a lot of people it was a milestone — especially for a lot of young and upcoming local bands. The kids in garage bands and stuff just starting out, it was the only place they were able to play that was an actual venue, because everything else is bars… There was a lot of surprise but also a lot of support and reflection, you know, remembering the good old times at Sector 7G.”
For a lot of people, it will be a bittersweet ending. Levy commented on how times and trends change and that he hopes that he will be around to be a part of whatever comes next. Laws expressed a similar view and said that he would be happy to give advice to anyone who wants to pick up the torch and start the next all ages venue.
Levy said he is grateful to everyone who has been involved with Sector 7G over the years and that none of it would have been possible were it not for the people.
“I hold very little control over the overall aspect of it,” Levy said regarding the popularity and success Sector 7G has seen over the years. “It all comes down to the support of the fans, the hard work that promoters put into it — I’m just the manager-sound-guy/trash picker-upper/handy-man and a lot of the work and the effort gets put in by promoters and bands. They’re what makes Sector ‘Sector.’ Without them, it’s just an empty building.”