The Pyramid Scheme is a popular neighborhood bar, alternative music venue, and pinball arcade, located in Grand Rapids’ downtown Heartside district. It was born out of the realization that there was a need for a mid-size concert venue in the downtown area. The idea was to create a unique atmosphere, mixing art and music, capitalizing on the ideal location of the venue. The Pyramid Scheme is situated on Commerce Street, near Division Avenue (The Avenue for the Arts) which is known for its art venues, and is also near Ionia and the Van Andel Arena, so it is able to draw both crowds. It has become a place for the artists, musicians, and locals. The key to the Pyramids Scheme’s success, in addition to bringing in top alternative music acts 2-3 nights a week, has been developing a loyal crowd that will visit the bar even when there’s no live band playing.
In order to get a better understanding of The Pyramid Scheme, it’s important to take a moment to mention the co-owners and their positive involvement in local community. The venue is co-owned by successful local entrepreneurs Mark Sellers, Jeff VandenBerg, and Tami VandenBerg. Each brings a unique blend of talents to the popular bar and music venue. Sellers owns two other immensely popular Grand Rapids bars: HopCat and Stella’s Lounge. The VandenBerg siblings are co-owners of the Meanwhile Bar, also in downtown Grand Rapids, which emphasizes local brews and is known for its positive involvement in the local community. Jeff VandenBerg is also an artist and music promoter who founded Friction Records and is a founding member of the Division Avenue Arts Collective (DAAC). The DAAC is a non-profit that hosts music, art exhibitions, creative workshops, lectures, film screenings, and other performances – all entirely programmed and run by volunteers and the help of the community. Tami VandenBerg also runs the Well House, a nonprofit that provides housing for people who are homeless.
The Pyramid Scheme is celebrating their anniversary with a weekend of special shows in April. The Pyramid Scheme’s 5 Year Anniversary Show Pt. 1 is on Friday April 22nd and features the bands: Heavier Than Air Flying Machines, Lady Ace Boogie, Man At Arms, and Coffin Problem. Tickets are $10 in advance.
The Pyramid Scheme’s 5 Year Anniversary Show Pt. 2 is on Saturday April 23rd and features the bands Shiner, Mutoid Man, and Child Bite. The band Shiner is re-uniting for this show. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the show- get your tickets early because this performance is certain to sell out! As always, shows are 21 and up. For more information, please visit the Pyramid Scheme Bar’s website.
Please join us in congratulating the Pyramid Scheme on a rockin’ 5 years!