OLEAN, N.Y. — Musicians and patrons at local punk venue The Delmonico Prison report the building’s only functioning toilet is unfortunately located on stage, in plain view of everyone in attendance, uncomfortable sources confirmed.
“We realized about halfway through the remodel that our floor design was going to leave us with either the toilet on stage, or no toilet at all,” said Ron Capolito, a primary organizer for the space. “The first few shows had a privacy curtain for patrons, but that got ripped down pretty quick. We just haven’t had the time to replace it.”
While some have complained about the lack of privacy — especially while bands are playing — others have embraced the toilet as a unique venue feature.
“Some bands have incorporated the toilet into their performance: we’ve seen a few drummers use the toilet as a drum throne,” said Capolito. “And stage diving off of it is pretty common.”
Meanwhile, patrons have had to come up with creative ways to use the toilet and maintain a glimmer of privacy.
“There’s a small group of people who stand on the stage like a human shield anytime someone in their crew needs to relieve themselves,” said venue regular Drew Wilkes. “But for anyone that shows up alone, the venue suggests sitting on the toilet in reverse… or ‘AC Slater-style,’ as it’s been called.”
Despite the mixed reviews, the toilet is reportedly now a central component of the venue’s primary revenue stream.
“This area has a surprising number of uninhibited drunks, and we set up a long-distance pissing league every Tuesday. We’ve been able to raise some good money at every event — at least enough to pay for the cleaning supplies that are necessary when you have a toilet on stage,” said bartender Clay Maher. “We’re preparing to launch our women’s division later this month.”
Fortunately, code violations and cleanliness haven’t worried Capolito, who said the Delmonico Prison toilet is now a “permanent fixture” in the local music scene.
“The toilet is already lead vocalist for three noise bands that I’m aware of. And I know a lot of younger kids say they aspire to someday do what the toilet is doing today,” Capolito said.
Photo by Matt Gill.