Exploring DC’s Go-Go and Punk Music Scenes Tour: The Ibex
The club was located in a three-story building filled with food and music.
With three floors of music and plenty of food and drinks, The Ibex was an unforgettable experience for patrons to enjoy music of different genres and for bands seeking a performance venue. Many were attracted to the club because of the diversity of music offered, from jazz to go-go to rap, and much more depending on the day and time. The Ibex also offered a full menu, which attracted customers looking for both entertainment and a meal on a night out. The club’s popularity garnered crowds on weekdays and weekends alike, with performances lasting from the evening into the early hours of the next morning.
Located in the Brightwood neighborhood, The Ibex was frequented by bands like Backyard Band, one of many popular musical acts in DC. The Ibex, like many go-go venues, had proven to be a popular go-go club for many years, but on one tragic night, its fate changed forever. The club had experienced scrutiny, like other popular go-go clubs during the 1980s, but was immediately shut down in 1987 after the fatal shooting of a police officer by a club patron.
The increasing number of incidents being reported at go-go clubs and protests from city officials and local residents caused go-go to migrate out of the city and into Maryland. The Ibex, like many other venues, were increasingly shut down or moved, making it more difficult for community members to find places to listen to go-go and to gather together. While the violence perpetuated outside and around the clubs needed to be addressed, many felt that the blame placed on go-go was disproportionate and a product of racial and socioeconomic prejudice.
This site is a stop on the Exploring DC's Go-Go and Punk Music Scenes Tour.