Watermelon Music / Davis Artist Alliance
Picture of The Dirt

The Dirt

Watermelon Music Set to Close

Watermelon Music, the only music store in Davis, is “winding down”.

Citing profitability, owner Jeff Simmons announced the closure in an email to customers and a post on Instagram May 3.

“I have been involved with this store (and its predecessors) for 35 years now, since first coming to Davis as a 20-year old student in 1989,” Simmons write in the announcement. “Anyone who knows me and my passion for music and independent retail will understand the difficulty I’ve had coming to this decision.”

The news comes after a massive rally of community support helped pull the shop out of crushing debt incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in May of 2023, community members donated more than $100,000 to Watermelon Music through a GoFundMe created by Simmons.

“The incredible show of support we received from the community one year ago makes this even more difficult, but I can’t see a clear path toward becoming profitable again, without a complete rethinking of the model that has worked for so many years,” Simmons wrote. “I have always tried to operate with integrity and transparency, and it is important to me that I exit on my own terms, with clean hands and obligations met.”

This closure impacts local musicians who shop and take lessons at Watermelon music, teachers and employees who earn money there, students who Watermelon Music’s instrument rental program, and artists who perform at The Melon Ball.

“I have a fantastic staff here and hope that anyone reading this who is hiring will consider one or more of them. I am happy to vouch for and provide a reference for any and all of them,” Simmons wrote.


More to explore

Scroll to Top