We No Longer Live In a Musical Submarine

By Alyssa Smith, Staff Writer—

Before the pandemic hit, The Submarine was a staple venue for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga students in need of musical catharsis.  

Located in the Belvoir neighborhood of Chattanooga, The Sub is inhabited by recent UTC graduates Victoria Sauer, Emma Hoffman and Kat Friedmann. Getting a little sweaty, letting loose and listening to live local music are all things the group would normally encourage at their place, but not this year. 

A space like The Submarine is crucial for up-and-coming local artists who want to meet other musicians, test out new music and create a sense of community. 

“We love what we have done up to this point, because we feel like we’re really making a difference,” Sauer said. “It’s a great place for new introductions and connections to be made without having to worry about the hassle and superficiality of more corporate music venues.”

Since their first show on Halloween 2018, The Submarine has consistently thrown one show every month—up until the pandemic, that is. 

“It has completely put a stop to our house shows, sadly,” Sauer said. “We all really believe in the importance of social distancing and mask-wearing, so we completely understand why we had to stop for now; even though it’s extremely sad.”

While The Sub has hosted only live music so far, they had big plans to expand this summer. Prior to the big ol’ germ wave, the hosts of The Sub were planning on hosting visual art shows in addition to concerts. 

In terms of Chattanooga’s wider arts and music scene, The Submarine isn’t the only place on pause. There are little to no physical shows happening anywhere in the city, and virtual renditions just aren’t a sufficient substitute for many. 

Reminiscing on normalcy, one of the most memorable and revered Sub shows came in Nov. 2019. With a lineup consisting of Young Toast, Jarren Blair, O Summer, and the Broomestix, the audience’s stomping feet and thrashing bodies actually caused the floor to break. 

The last show they hosted this past Valentine’s Day is another significant show in the Sub’s repertoire. With a crowd of over 300 people, the insanity caused the hosts to consider capacity limits for future shows. Alas, COVID-19 hit with fury.

After racking their brains for a solution, The Submarine’s owners did not feel that it was safe to host shows in any capacity, socially distanced or not. 

So, as The Sub’s fans patiently await the day they can squeeze back into a packed room with a bunch of other sweaty music-lovers, they’ll just have to stick to dancing in their rooms.  

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