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The Green House Collective gives DIY music in Laramie a home

In a black and white picture, a band plays music. From left to right: a man plays the guitar, another man wearing a t-shirt and beanie walks with a microphone, a man plans drums in the background, and two other men play guitar.
Travis Smith
The Green House Collective
Failure to Thrive plays a show at The Lair on February 21, 2023.

Alex Soveroski began the Green House Collective in the basement of his house which — as you might guess — was green. The Collective, which bills itself as a group of “Laramie weirdos who put on concerts,” organizes shows for small musicians and other artistic groups.

Soveroski wanted The Collective to be a constant place where people could find DIY shows, which feature completely self-managed artists and are organized by regular community members with little funding.

“I've been to a few DIY shows in people's houses throughout college. And from my understanding of it, especially in Laramie, [the scene has had many] ups and downs with who was able to host a show or whatever. And so DIY music needed, I think, a spot,” he said.

Soveroski organized the first shows in 2018. At first, The Collective only held one show every few months. However, by 2019, concerts were in full swing. Soveroski said that in addition to local bands, Laramie is also a popular destination for bands from across the country.

“Laramie itself is also a good kind of middle ground for touring bands,” he said. “It's like, somebody's trying to hit like Salt Lake City and then Denver, they could hit Laramie in between. “

The collective has hosted bands from Colorado, Denver, Mississippi, Illinois, and more. Soveroski said that’s in part due to how he welcomes musicians of all types.

“I tried to not really say ‘no’ to anybody, if they were a band on tour, and they were trying to book a show,” he said.

Besides concerts, the collective has also hosted 7-hour raves, theatrical performances, silent art auctions, yoga classes and more. Soveroski said there are a lot of community members that are regulars at Green House Collective events, but many people are also coming to Collective events for the first time.

“It's really rewarding to have new people coming into town or to have people who live in town, who maybe don't know that there's such wild, cool, crazy art happening,” he said.

The Collective transitioned to streaming concerts during the pandemic before returning to in-person in late 2021. Eventually, their shows became so popular that it was no longer feasible to host events in Soveroski’s basement. At that point, The Collective decided to begin renting out The Lair, a basement space in downtown Laramie. This move meant The Collective had to begin charging for tickets, whereas before it ran solely on donations.

As part of its expansion, it also incorporated as a nonprofit in February of 2023. Soveroski said that move took much of the pressure off his shoulders since previously, he was managing The Collective’s finances by himself.

When asked what his vision for the collective was, Soveroski said that he had two main goals — improving The Lair’s interior and making the collective a welcoming space.

“There's two prongs of it. [First,] working on the space itself. And also making the space feel safe to the whole community. I really do not have a high tolerance for hate, and it's something I really don't want to see in the space,” he said.

Soveroski is currently talking with the SAFE Project about ways to deal with disruptive concert-goers and make the space more welcoming for all. He encourages anyone interested in performing or volunteering to reach out.

Suraj Singareddy is originally from Atlanta, GA, and is a rising junior at Yale University. He's currently an English major with a minor in computer science. He also helps run the Yale Daily News' podcast department, writes for a science-fiction magazine called Cortex, and likes to do different theatre-y stuff around campus. He also loves to read comics and graphic novels in his free time, and is always looking for book recommendations!

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