For over a decade Jam
has been one of the city’s most beloved dive bars. Now, the local district office has prohibited the venue from hosting live performances, according to a Facebook post
from the venue’s owners on Wednesday. BK was able to contact Jam for clarification Friday morning, but (at the time this story was published) owner Martin Nilsson was not in a position to elaborate on why the ban occurred or if a new location in another district is being considered—he did say new information will be revealed at a later date. Rumors about the situation have swirled on social media since Sep 8 when Jam mysteriously canceled
its entire weekend line-up of shows and did not announce any new events for nearly two weeks. This past Wednesday evening, the venue confirmed the ban publicly and said it would only be open in a “capacity as a bar” for the foreseeable future.
“[Live performances] are more or less 99% of the events we do at Jam,” the statement reads. “As you can imagine, we are absolutely devastated.”
Although the cause of the injunction is not confirmed, it appears permanent. The statement goes on to elaborate that two of Jam’s staff—one responsible for booking artists and another responsible for running the kitchen—were let go as the venue “simply couldn’t afford to keep them with this new reality.”
The initial, cryptic statement on Sep 8 that started the rumors also noted the owners were “trying to find a solution” to a then undisclosed problem. Those attempts over the following weeks appear to have been unsuccessful and the venue affirmed it will continue to only operate as a standalone bar (no kitchen, no live tunes) going forward.
Longtime fans of the venue offered an outpouring of support on social media when the news was confirmed, including many people from abroad who found the venue while visiting or living in Bangkok. It was known as a ramshackle Surasak shop-house, where subversive art lined the walls, cheap wine poured from cardboard casks, and rowdy live music in tight quarters attracted partygoers from across the city.
Update: This story was changed to reflect that Jam intends to release more information at a later date, but was not able to do so by the time this story was published.