Misfit Manor was named best DIY house venue by Ohio State Students. Credit: Courtesy of Poy Raz

For Ohio State students, community members and the general music-loving public, DIY — do-it-yourself — house venues provide an energetic hangout for local bands and artists to perform and all to enjoy. One such venue, Misfit Manor, has been running since early 2016 and hosted about 150 shows over the years, including the Endless Summer Fest, which it has hosted every summer for the past four years, Poy Raz, the venue’s owner, said.

A DIY house venue books performances, typically by smaller, local bands and artists. The events often feature a live performance in one area of the house while several other areas are open for dancing and conversation.

Raz said he originally moved into the house with two friends in late 2015 and hosted his first show a week later. After that, he said Misfit Manor has been hosting shows several times a year, drawing crowds of people from various backgrounds and walks of life, which has earned the venue a reputation of inclusivity.

“I’ve seen our neighbor that’s in his 60s come over to a backyard show and he really enjoyed it,” Raz said. “It just kinda draws everyone. Definitely a lot of interesting fashion statements being made at these things.”

Misfit Manor diversifies the genres of bands it hosts and features a variety of different artists who often return to the venue, Raz said. Past performances include Columbus-native rock band Radattack, Kentucky-native party rock group Anemic Royalty and solo hip-hop artist Rhinestone Cowboy.

Raz compared Misfit Manor to a classic Friday night gathering in high school, when people from different social circles would come together to enjoy one another’s company, creating a strong sense of community and friendship among attendees.

“People genuinely seem to want to get to know you and they also want to understand you and they want you to feel welcome,” Noah King, a second-year in environmental policy and decision making and regular attendee of Misfit Manor, said.

Though popular among Ohio State students, King said Misfit Manor differs from a student organization.

“You go there and you don’t know who’s gonna be there because it’s not just a local Columbus thing. And that feels really cool because as an OSU student, you know, we’re more than just OSU. We’re Columbus too. So, that’s a part of Misfit Manor that I really enjoy,” he said.

Misfit Manor’s most recent show Jan. 2 featured Radattack, Rhinestone Cowboy, Anemic Royalty and Courtney From Work. Although its March 26 show featuring Teamonade, The Wastemen and Huevo Sin Sal was postponed due to COVID-19, Raz said he hopes to begin hosting again in late summer or early fall.

“I hope that if anyone is into this, they realize that it’s super easy to do and there’s no pressure,” Raz said. “You can have as many or as few shows as you want and it makes a huge difference in a community.”