By Richard Provost
Velour Live Music Gallery owned the Provo music scene for the first three months of this year. As they celebrated their 10th anniversary, Velour consistently sold out shows as they hosted reunions, album releases, and even Space Rock Operas. With such a strong showing, it seemed like Velour’s streak of stellar show wouldn’t let up until the end of 2016. But on Tuesday, March 29th, Velour’s owner made a startling announcement.
“This is a post I’ve been avoiding, but can’t really put off anymore,” Corey Fox posted to his personal Facebook profile. “I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease when I was 16 years old and have dealt with this illness my entire life. Although I’ve dodged the bullet for years, it has finally caught up to me, and I am now in need of a kidney transplant.”
Currently on the transplant waiting list, Fox was asked by his kidney team to go public and begin looking for a living kidney donor. “This is a request I feel incredibly uncomfortable with and not something I take lightly,” he said.
In response to this news, some of Fox’s closest friends created a website to aid in his search for a donor. The website provides information on how to donate to the Corey J Fox Donation fund and how to complete the necessary kidney donor screening through Intermountain Healthcare. They also started the hashtag, #FixTheFox, in hopes of spreading the word about his ordeal.
“[Velour has] been a space for us to get to know and watch our favorite bands, where we developed our music and our art, how we cultivated relationships with our fans, where we first met/went on a date, where we got engaged, where we got married, and where we were introduced to our bandmates and often our best friends,” the website says. “We’ve been encouraged to pursue new paths, found meaningful careers and inspiration, and Velour has essentially put our little town of Provo, Utah on the map.”
Velour’s value to the Provo community cannot be understated. Daily it attracts people to Downtown Provo, which has seen a resurgence in commercial and community activity in the last decade. It has fostered incredible artistic and organizational growth among musicians, and has championed gender equality and the development of a female artistic community in Provo as well.
“My musical journey has been greatly impacted by the chance this man gave me on his stage and other stages,” says R&B artist Ryan Innes. “And I’m just one of many. Hope we can really help him as he has us.”
“We echo the sentiments of so many other bands, big and small, that have been fortunate enough to play at Velour Live Music Gallery,” The National Parks said in an official statement. “Corey Fox has cared very genuinely and very selflessly about musicians in the Provo music scene for a long time and we have personally been on the receiving end of a lot of that help. He needs help now and he is definitely the type of person that deserves it.”
Unfortunately, due to infection risks, Fox will be unable to be around groups of people during the months of his recovery – a huge blow given his job description. Consequently, Velour will be closing its doors, hosting only private events, parties, and weddings.
“As Corey’s friends, we not only want to make sure he has what he needs to comfortably get through this, but that his life’s work will continue to be a valued space where music, art and the community can thrive in years to come,” the website says. “Truthfully, without your help, the impact of a medical need like this one would likely bankrupt a small, single-person owned and operated business like Velour.”
For more information, visit www.kidneyforcoreyfox.com. Velour 10th Anniversary Merchandise is also available for purchase any night Velour is open. In addition, attending shows is a great way to support the venue. Check out what shows are going on this weekend. And if you don’t believe that people have gotten engaged at Velour, well, watch the video below.