Affirming. Open. Proudly queer. A safe space. These are a few of the words often deployed to describe The Pinhook, a venue located at 117 W. Main Street, Durham, N.C.
Founded in 2008 by Kym Register, the creative voice behind the country music group Loamlands, The Pinhook is an anchor of Durham’s thriving music scene. It’s a local haunt of many of the indie musicians who have recently put The Bull City on the music map – Sylvan Esso and Phil Cook – and it’s a celebrated haven and presenter for the LGBTQ community in the Triangle.
J. Clapp, who performs as the popular drag diva Vivica C. Coxx, says the best thing about The Pinhook’s programming is that you never know what you’re going to get but “It’s always open and affirming of people with marginalized backgrounds, and it’s always giving of its time and energy in ways that most clubs and venues aren’t. It’s very Durham, and it’s very who I want to be.”
The ethos of the club – to pay artists a living wage, and to create a safe space for marginalized communities – permeates the programming and the community that has come to know and love The Pinhook. In celebration of Pride Month, we step inside The Pinhook for June’s Listen Local, our video series profiling unique venues and places where music is made, performed and celebrated in North Carolina.