The Music Issue 2014: Epic Problem

DIY all-ages rules apply at the Skatepark of Tampa's venue.

click to enlarge Sacridose at Epic Problem. - NIcole Kibert
NIcole Kibert
Sacridose at Epic Problem.


For those who haven’t experienced Epic Problem, take note: there aren’t any security guards, there’s no bar policy and there’s not even a watertight guarantee that a band will show up. And the regulars are just fine with that.

The DIY music venue at the Skatepark of Tampa morphed from Transitions Art Gallery, which hosted its final show in December 2012, to Epic Problem more than a year ago when longtime owner Matt Welch turned the space over to local musician Matt Ostraco. Maintaining affordable admission, strong show lineups and a nondiscriminatory age policy — whether you’re there to watch a show or play one — the venue has been business as usual ever since.

Though punk rockers who haven’t visited in a while will notice a minor change inside the dimly lit, 150-capacity venue (the walls behind its stage are covered in a fresh coat of purple paint rather than its former crimson shade), Epic Problem continues to be a place where the local music scene’s creative culture has the ability and grassroots support to thrive. Typically, on any day of the week.

Sometimes Bay area bands play a show alongside their neighbors and friends, and other times they share a bill with touring musicians. From ska to folk to punk to hardcore to metal, the genres showcased at Epic Problem vary in true DIY fashion. Cover shows, all-day and two-day festivals, potlucks and Punk Rock Flea Markets — where anyone can hawk T-shirts, records and more — are also regular happenings. 

Epic Problem is located at 4215 E. Columbus Drive, Tampa, facebook.com/epicproblemtampa.

Upcoming Shows: I Am the Avalanche (7/24); Blistered's Tour Kickoff (8/9); Foxing featuring The Hotelier (8/10); Parasites featuring Flamingo Nosebleed (8/17); Joyce Manor featuring Des Ark (9/24); Florida Showcase and Punk Rock Flea Market (10/4); Eighth Annual Halloween Cover Show (10/25).

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