When the Reader ran a story on October 22 about a death at a Burning Man event on Palomar Mountain, many readers reacted negatively over news accounts of deaths at EDM events.
Alma Rodriguez was not one of those people.
“I despise that kind of thing,” says Rodriguez, the founder of the all-ages Queen Bee’s in North Park.
Rodriguez has been advised many times that staging EDM shows could be a profit center for her 250-capacity room.
“I would rather have loud, crazy metal and punk any day than have people dancing high on drugs.”
Rodriguez built her business on rock and hip-hop, Latin dance music, open mics, spoken-word shows, and comedy.
Her next act: the Queen Bee TV show. “We don’t have a name for sure, but our working title is The Bee Hive. It’s basically a reality show,” Rodriguez says. “It’s a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to do a show at Queen Bee’s, from beginning to end.” Rodriguez says she is currently negotiating with KUSI and other local stations about securing a weekly half-hour block.
3925 Ohio Street, North Park
“We have always been about taking people to the next level.” She says Jason French and Cody Lovaas had one of their first shows at Queen Bee’s.
She admits the success of the annual Beatles fair, weekly dance classes, and a thriving event-planning business help pay the bills at her 8000-square-foot enterprise. But it was the core “community” support that helped her replace the roof, install a new electrical grid, and put in new bathrooms at Queen Bee’s. “We didn’t even have a dance floor when we first came here. We came in here with almost nothing. We did one fundraiser after another to fix the place up. I never owed anything to anybody.”
She estimates she has so far spent over $100,000 in improvements in a building she does not own.
Rodriguez says that when one of her salsa dance regulars made it on Dancing with the Stars, she got motivated to produce The Bee Hive.
“Each show will tell one story about one rock band or one dancer or one artist. We want to tell a different story each week.”
She says she wants to produce the show herself. “If we need to get professional help to help us, we’ll do it. If anyone has any good ideas, please let us know.”