The iconic Bay Area punk and hardcore venue known colloquially as “Gilman” is a popular tour stop for bands nationwide. As one of the longest running punk venues in the country Gilman has earned a reputation as being an inclusive and safe space for punks of all ages. But unless you’ve been going to shows there for years, you probably haven’t heard of these 5 Secret Menu items only those truly in the know have a clue about.
1.Used Ear Plugs – If the sound inside the venue is too much for your sensitive ear drums, never fear! Gilman offers brand new ear plugs for the small fee of 25 cents. But many don’t know about the secret option for ear protection: USED ear plugs. Simply ask the all-volunteer staff whether they have any “used” plugs and they will know exactly what to do. Not only will these ear plugs work just as well as a new pair, you’ll save 10 cents off the price.
2. Bathroom Water – Saving every precious dollar bill to purchase merchandise from your favorite bands? Don’t have a dollar to spare on a bottled water? Don’t worry! Many of those new to Gilman don’t know about this secret source of H2O — the bathroom sink! Gilman’s bathroom is notorious for being clean and free of communicable disease. Simply waltz into the bathroom announce “water please,” and drink away.
3. Chipotle Burrito – It hits you, hunger for a sustainably sourced, questionably Mexican, burrito. You’re in luck! Ask the volunteers for a “Chipotle Burrito” for this secret menu item, but be prepared to walk because you’ll have to go down the street to the local Chipotle for this little known delicacy. Plus, a band you don’t like is playing. Perfect timing!
4. No Stagediving, Seriously – Chances are if you’ve been to Gilman, you’ve seen the famous “No Stagediving” sign behind the stage. Chances are also good that you’ve heard this is merely a suggestion to keep the venue from incurring liability for injuries sustained by stagedivers, and that you’ve seen showgoers nevertheless blatantly ignore the restriction without consequence. Well, this secret menu item is only for the upper echelon, as stagediving is actually strictly forbidden. You’ll look like a regular as you point to the sign and shake your head at the petty rulebreakers.
5. Being Banned – This secret menu item tops our list, as only the boldest will dare attempt to obtain it. Many know about the various rules placed on bands and individuals by the Gilman staff, who meet once a month at a secret mountain retreat. But did you know, you too can get 86’d from Gilman? It’s as easy as forming a band and joining a major label, or repeating out loud that thing your 80-year-old grandfather said last Thanksgiving that made everyone uncomfortable. Then sit back and enjoy never being able to attend a show at Gilman again!
Have you or someone you know been 86’d from Gilman? Let us know what for in the comments below!