The collective/venue Grrrnd Zero in Lyon, France, is about to be evicted. Evicted from
the building occupied since 2005, without any hope of relocation. In this sad city of ours,
every day subject to the interests of glitter-urbanization, the city council needs to be
reminded once more of how urgent the situation is. Therefore, we are asking for your
But first, what is Grrrnd Zero?
Grrrnd Zero is a bunch of naïve enthusiastic candid and passionate volunteers / activists
with no leader, whose ambition is to develop an open and fastidious auto-run space,
dedicated to underground / unconventional / DIY / alternative arts.
Grrrnd zero unites thirty or so associations, who organize about a hundred concerts,
exhibits and screenings each season, drawing a crowd of over 13,000 people.
More than 40 bands share the rehearsal spaces Grrrnd Zero provides, but also office and
residency areas, screen-printing and photography studios, several record labels, a movie
A list of just about every concert organized these past years is available to check, click
If you’d like to gaze at some live footage, shot here at Grrrnd Zero, try clicking HERE.
To download our thorough activity-report, you may click HERE.
Since we arrived in the premises more than 4 years ago, we have always expressed our
commitment to adapt the building to safety standards; the city counselors have always
rejected these efforts, without suggesting any other solution.
This situation endured, until July 20th 2011, when an eviction notice was addressed
to us: we had to leave the premises by October 31st. After negotiating with the city
council and the inter-communal cooperation (that had just become the “owner” of our
walls…), the deadline was extended to the end of 2012, hosting any public was, however,
Until we find a new place, almost our entire program has to be cancelled, and what’s
left of it, scattered off-site. The city's response to our dilemma is suggesting we rent
the “usual” venues, which do not fit our philosophy (i.e. reasonable pricing at the bar, no
search at the entrance), venues that couldn’t possibly host our entire program.
We insist on maintaining all of our activities on a sole site at any cost. A collective
approach is the strength of our project: creating the right conditions to share the space,
to make people or audiences meet, and to maintain a multiplicity of offerings, all ideas
which are indeed of importance to the politicians of our city, except, paradoxically, when
they are embodied in a single place, they become disturbing.
To go on, Grrrnd Zero needs one, single place.
In these confusing times, we still don’t know whether a project can be constructed with
the city council, or whether we must go back to squatting as in the beginning.
By revolving most of its cultural policies around a few highlighted occasional events, the
city council of Lyon is turning its back on a wide network of local organizations, those
that refuse the commercial exploitation of the arts and its constant need for profit. All of
these organizations are essential to the dynamism of the city, on a daily basis.
We are hoping the city council will realize the need for such a place, dedicated to all who
participate in the Grrrnd Zero project, all a huge part of the alternative/underground
cultural life of our city.
But the city council might not realize this on its own…
Ok, so how can people help?
We are putting together different types of actions, including a call for support in the
form of a letter addressed to the mayor of Lyon and to the deputy in charge of cultural
affairs: Gérard Collomb and Georges Képénékian. If you feel like joining in this effort, we
will sing your praises for all eternity.
Here are a few steps you can follow:
- Feel free to write any kind of letter! Even a few lines explaining the importance
of a place dedicated to alternative culture in Lyon will do, but vibrant long letters
are also welcomed, if you’re in the mood for it. If you don’t have the time, don’t
hesitate to use anything in this letter. You could find inspiration in one of the
letters already sent and compiled HERE, re-use one as it is or edit and sign with
- Please don’t forget to specify who you are! What you do, if you are part of an
- Send a real letter to: Gérard Collomb – Mairie de Lyon – 1, place de la Comédie –
69205 Lyon cedex 01
- Or send a mail to
, (please include “Grrrnd Zero” somewhere in the mail subject).
In addition to flooding the mayor’s office with sense, these letters are compiled to be
part of our activity report. We’d be grateful if you could send us a copy of your mail or
letter at :
- Collectif Grrrnd Zero // 40 rue du Pré-Gaudry // 69007 LYON
Don’t hesitate to pass this mail on to your own contacts. Should you send it to more
than seven people… Brad Pitt and Beyoncé will perform belly dances on your kitchen
table and you will be granted a million well-deserved Euros, transferred directly to your
account from the president of a Nigerian bank. However, if you don’t send it to anyone
and don’t write a letter of support, your children will perish, and passers-by will spit on
Thanks a million.
A few more details on Grrrnd Zero. Who knows? Maybe you’re curious...
A bunch of our lousy principles (further information on our website, http://www.grrrndzero.org/):
- We try to offer affordable rates, from free pricing (people pay whatever they can
afford) to 10€, and people who don’t have enough are welcome anyway.
- Grrrnd Zero is the only place where organizer(s) of an event can keep the money
from the tickets and from the bar. Most of the events that take place at Grrrnd
Zero cannot, due to their relatively modest budget, take place somewhere else.
- The audience doesn’t have to drink or eat what they’re offered. Anyone can bring
his or her own food/drinks.
- We do not use professional security services.
- No pre-sales in the usual “supermarkets of culture” as we call them, equivalent to
Barnes and Noble etc.
- Our wish is to spread underground culture beyond the limited circle of those
who are already on board. This is why we keep handing out flyers and putting up
posters in the street. We like to think this is our way to help fight the increasing
invasion of advertising in public spaces and the entertainment industry.