Arts Desk

Josh Burdette, 9:30 Club Manager and Crew Chief, Has Died

josh-burdetteAccording to a 9:30 Club spokesperson, club manager and crew chief Josh Burdette has died.

Casual club patrons may not have known Burdette's name, but it would have been hard not to know his stretched earlobes, surly tattoos, and friendly smile. Burdette began working at the V Street NW venue in 1997, and for about as long, he was known as the face of 9:30 Club.

"Especially in my little part of the city, I see all types of people from all walks of life, from all around the world," Burdette told Washington City Paper in 2008. "Fortunately, I get to see them when they’re having a good time."

His death leaves a gaping hole in the heart of D.C.'s music scene.

A club spokesperson could not confirm when or how Burdette died. This post will be updated as we learn more.

Update, 3:17 p.m. In a statement, 9:30 Club co-owner Seth Hurwitz says:

Josh was one of the wisest people you would ever meet. When you talked to him, you hoped you would be lucky enough to retain some of that wisdom, but you had to make the effort as he never forced it on you. But every word he spoke was from one of the kindest, most thoughtful and well-centered folks you could hope to have in your life.

And then there was the fantastic joke that people that didn't know him fell for every time. Here was this scary looking dude that was a complete contradiction of his appearance. I think everyone felt a little ashamed and learned from that. We were all so proud to have him as our ambassador to the world. He was as 9:30 as 9:30 gets.

I'm pretty good at moving on but this one's gonna be tough. There will be no getting over it, sorry.

Update, 5:45 p.m. According to an article posted by ABC7 News earlier today:

Police say they responded to Burdette's Kensington home in Montgomery County on Sunday at about 5:30 p.m.

Police are investigating the death as a possible suicide.

Washington City Paper file photo

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  • Shannon Sullivan

    Just wanted to express condolences to all of the 9:30 Club family, the bands who got to meet him, and his loved ones. A life devoted to making sure others have a great night is a life well-lived.

  • Ezana

    A pro he has been doing this for years, never be the same...

  • Maria

    Josh was 36, not 35. He would have turned 37 on September 4th.

  • The Java Master

    A bouncer and crew chief at the 9.30 club is lionized as a "wise" dude? Pleeze...he couldn't get, let alone hold, a job elsewhere.

  • Mike Cracchiolo

    @Java Master: Maybe he didn't want a job elsewhere. One thing I do know is that this dude was well loved by everyone that knew him and he ran what is widely considered to be the best club in the country. I mean, look at you- you probably have a more "respectable" gig but you're still an a**hole who thinks it's an worthwhile use of your time to speak ill of the dead from comfortable anonymity. I'll bet when you go no one will bother.

  • Aaron

    @The Java Master - Way to keep it classy, scumbag.

  • Miles

    JavaMasturbator is one of the little U Street nouveau yuppie twerps who got tossed out on his azz by Josh most likely and never got over it. Fuck you prick.

  • socrAtes

    yes, and it`s oh, so wise to pass judgement on people you don`t know and probably have never even met. based on that, it`s clear that you, The Java Master, are in ignorant mouse, studying to be a rat.

  • Mark Flannery

    @Mike Cracchiolo.



    I'll be at the Mission tomorrow night and will definitely raise a glass for Josh. Saw him at the Cult just a couple weeks ago.

  • daniel m.

    One of the mainstays of the venue. Great person, alumni of SEE (@ umd) and one to be missed. RIP.

  • daniel m.

    And java master, he had worked with event planning at UMD. I believe a music venue uses that skill set. Have some humility.

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  • Tashi

    @The Java Master
    Josh was a good friend of mine since the mid 90's.. you obviously don't know him if you believe he was limited, not wise (especially beyond his years) or that you would speak so unkindly of such a great human being.
    He never hesitated to go out of his way to help people.. even someone like you. I hope for your sake that you may one day become even the smallest percent of the kind, generous, caring person that he was.
    The world is a far sadder place without him.

  • Todd D.

    R.I.P. Josh! You were someone special and will be sorely missed!!!
    @The Java Master
    You are a piece of crap excuse for a human being. ...and from your name sounds like you are full of yourself. You know nothing about him yet you come on here and judge? What an INSENSITIVE JERK! Could someone remove "The Java Master's" post?

  • john from silver spring

    ill cosign what everyone else has said, josh was a very professional nice guy who really was the face of the club just abt everyone of a certain age in the dc area went to. he will be missed RIP

  • Parts Unknown

    To the Java Jerk Master: Here is a quote from the WP“I have a degree in psychology, so I watch people — it’s what I do,” the University of Maryland graduate once said."

    That should tell you that you did not know not know nothing about Mr. Josh Burdette, he is educated and he seems smarter than you.

    Quit judging people, before you get to know them.

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  • Kalyn

    I will miss his presence. Even as only an occasional patron of the Club, I knew him. He always made me feel welcomed upon arrival. He may have looked burly, but he really seemed very kind and helpful every time I visited, and seemed to genuinely enjoy greeting and containing the arriving crowds. What a sad loss for us all.

  • Tracey

    If only it were possible to like a post. Nice reply Mike Cracchiolo

    Some people just don't get that not everyone is out to work in the corner office.

    RIP Josh - It was always nice to see his smiling face around the place.

  • sticktoyourguns

    he was such a nice guy

  • CurtisE. & SusieQ.

    Our heartfelt condolences go out to Josh's family, friends and the entire staff @ the 930 is a very sad day for all of us who have known this great big gentle giant and have been lucky enough to have seen how he's been such an integral part of what the club has always been about from the very start...going to any show was as much to see him standing inside or out front as it was to watch the acts either understand this or you don't. We will all miss this man very, very much. I had more than a few interactions and pictures taken with him with him over many years that were brief and sweet moments...he was a good man, plain, fair and simple yet deep...may he rest in peace and be remembered for doing what he did very well and with a uniquely quiet style...might we all be so lucky and blessed. Definitely of a kind and won't be soon forgotten in this lonely town we call home...

  • Rach

    I was very sad to hear of the passing of "That Guy From the 9:30 Club". He did look a little scary the first time I saw him, but he was always friendly. 9:30 won't be the same without him. My heart goes out to his family. RIP Josh. ♥

  • Thalia

    Really sad to hear that he is resting in peace with the heavenly father. He witnessed alot of up and coming stars that have not went to major labels. I am hoping the best for his family and friends, and family. I am so sorry to hear that, yes, the way he looked you would say, "oh yeah, I remember that dude, only at the 9:30 Club." I went to the club only once, unfortunately, I will never see him again. He was a great manager.

  • seDCdude

    RIP Josh, remember the 1st time I saw that guy and I was like WTF! lmbao, tuff times we're living in, internal struggles are a b!tch, but Josh was a good dude nonetheless! Met him in 99 and fooled with him ever since!

    WOW at the utter disrespect of JAVA da hut! What difference does it make, HE WAS GOOD AT WHAT HE DID, PERIOD!! Disrespectful troll, you sure that's not Doo Doo you're mastering?? Clown!!


    My sincere condolences to the staff of the 9:30 Club and Josh’s family on the loss of your love one, colleague and friend. I met Josh over the years in a professional capacity. Each time I met with him, he was always very helpful and knowledgeable. The guy could make the most stoic among us laugh. A great person that I am blessed to have the opportunity to have met. Josh was one of the reasons people from all walks of life were able to come to heart of the city, party, enjoy the music and leave the area safely. He didn’t care who you were or how messed up you got, everyone was treated with dignity and respect, even when the situation required otherwise.


    My father taught me a valuable lesson when I was young. He had me go and talk with a man, that today we would classify as a homeless person. I have to admit I was not happy and resisted. Later my father asked me how the conversation went. The whole walk home I kept saying I didn’t know… and did you know that he…. My father’s whole point was to teach me that we all can learn something from anyone if we take the time.

    Not everyone in life is clocking dollars or chasing status. Some people are happy where they are in life and that’s what matters. Some people actually work to live instead of living to work.

    Lastly, opinions are like A$$holes everyone has one and some are full of Sugar, Honey and Ice Tea. Your head is so far up your rear end you obviously have inhaled too much of your Sugar Honey and Ice Tea and it is starting to dribble out of your mouth.

    Show some respect for the man and his family.

  • poofy

    Sad to hear about "that guy" Josh, and condolences to his family and friends. I can't help but wonder though, that if he had issues, why we didn't see it and help him out. Everything is sadder now that I wonder why.

  • Jane

    Suicide is so heartbreaking, and yet I'm always a little relieved to know that his pain and suffering is finally over. Thanks for all you did for us over the years. The club won't be the same without you, but we're all a little richer for having known you.

  • Jon Bon Jovi

    Suicide is permanant! I'm sadden to hear the news of a kind person taking their life.

  • Ric in Saint Pete

    some of the best nights i spent while living in DC, were nights spent at 9:30. having never been a "tough guy", i always felt comfortable while in josh's domain, his presence. too early, DC has lost a hidden treasure, a gentle giant missed. RIP josh, i always did while at 9:30.....