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Different Wrld’s next chapter

The creative venue is on the move after its unexpected displacement, and you can help it continue its journey in a new space.

The outside of Different Wrld, with white pieces of paper showing one letter each, spelling "Different Wrld."

See what’s in store for Different Wrld.

Photo by AVLtoday

What is Different Wrld? Well, some nights it’s a music venue. Others, it’s a mechanical bull riding bar or a market for artists to sell work. Since taking over the space at 701 Haywood Rd., it’s been a creative venue designed to support different mediums and break down the barrier of entry to the creative industry.

In 2023, 701 Haywood Rd. was put up for sale. And in the following February, the building was sold, leaving Different Wrld without a renewed lease. Now, the creative venue is on the move, with eyes on a new space and is seeking the community’s help with a fundraiser that ends Wednesday, May 1, hoping to cover moving costs after its unexpected displacement.

The creative journey

Let’s take it back about nine years. Different Wrld didn’t begin when it took over its West Asheville location, the former site of The Mothlight. It began with founder and co-creator Honey Simone throwing pop-up parties around town. “Anywhere that would let me throw an event, I would do it,” Simone shared. “I actually started off making clothes. I would make a collection and then release it and have an event that went with it, including all my different friends who were artists because that was my first avenue of trying to collaborate and bring people together.”

When The Mothlight closed in 2020, its owners passed the baton to Simone, allowing her and its co-creators to grow Different Wrld into something bigger. “I didn’t want it to be just a normal venue that plays live music. It needed to have more involvement in our direct community,” she shared.

Different Wrld provides a space for people of all identities, particularly underrepresented and marginalized communities in the South, to feel welcomed and empowered. And since its opening, Different Wrld has committed to direct financial support for Asheville’s arts communities, including $76,000 to creatives for sharing their work, $234,000 in payroll for women, queer + trans people, and people of color, and $25,000 for nonprofits and organizations serving Asheville and beyond.

What’s next

While raising the money needed to move is a daunting task, community fundraising has always been a cornerstone for Different Wrld. Simone says that while the idea may be far-fetched to some, “we’ve done it before.” She adds, “We’ve always known that our support system financially would always be a mixture of bar revenue, fundraising, and community gifts. We’ve always functioned like that.”

There’s a very promising new home in the next chapter of Different Wrld with plenty of room for the space to serve as a dance floor, meeting space, or photo studio (read: all the things that make Different Wrld special). With an estimated time frame of three to six months before moving can begin, Different Wrld will be hosting House Hunting, a series of pop-ups at various locations around town.

Until the first House Hunting pop-up on Friday, May 10, you can support Different Wrld at its last event in its current space, with Meatbodies, Manas, and Impending Joy performing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30. To stay in the know about supporting the venue at upcoming in-person events, be sure to follow them on Instagram.

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