Iron Post Update

Paul Wirth, owner of the the Iron Post, has been a friend to the festival from its earliest days. The Post has been a gem of downtown Urbana–a hub of musical culture for the region, and a much-loved festival venue. But recent events have endangered the survival of this treasured institution, and our hearts are heavy.

Paul, we are holding you and your family in our hearts and praying that you recover your health. You will always have our appreciation and admiration for the work you have done to keep the live music scene thriving in C-U. If you have to pass the torch, many hands will work to keep that scene burning bright.

The message below, from Paul’s family, lays out the situation.

Firstly,  we would like to thank everyone for their donations so far. These  donations were a major factor in allowing The Post to survive through  the winter with any hope of re-opening this spring, as they have helped  pay rent, insurance, and other operating expenses that did not go away  even while the doors have been closed.

Paul,  The Post’s sole owner and operator, had every intention of re-opening  this spring. However, in early March he experienced a serious medical  event which has made it impossible for him to continue to own and manage  The Post going forward, and will in fact require long-term intensive  health care and therapy. It is necessary to sell The Post, in one form  or another, in order to cover medical expenses and comply with federal  medical assistance rules. Paul’s family has been communicating with many  members of the community to try to identify possible solutions that  would allow for The Post to re-open in some form that would keep its  spirit alive. Sadly, we keep discovering new issues that are out of our  hands that complicate any efforts to take over The Post (both the name  and the location) and it is seeming increasingly unlikely that The Post  will be able to re-open at all, even under new management.

We  are not asking for additional donations at this time to cover medical  costs. You have all already done so much to help both Paul and The Post,  but unfortunately the numbers we are dealing with across various debts  are so large that it is nigh impossible that any additional donations  you all might provide would prevent the sale of Paul and/or The Iron  Post’s assets. Times are tough for many right now, and we would prefer  that any funds you might want to donate instead be contributed to other  efforts that enable and celebrate live music (whether it be jazz, soul,  R&B, rock, or classical) in Champaign-Urbana.

Due  to the change in circumstances, we totally understand if any of you  wish to ask for a refund of your previous donations and are working with  GoFundMe to facilitate that. As previously stated, all funds already  spent from donations were used to keep The Post alive this long, and any  as of yet unspent funds that are not refunded will be used to work  towards resolving any outstanding business debts, closing down the  business in an orderly manner, and ensuring that the more sentimental  assets of The Post are distributed to those who will appreciate them and  hopefully use them to create a successor institution some time in the  future.

Paul’s  family thank you for all of your generosity so far, and we know that  this is a blow to the C-U Music community, not just our family. We hope  you will honor Paul and The Post by doing everything you can to support  live music this spring and summer.