Medium sized musical magic Ventura Music Hall – VC Reporter

Picture: Thievery Corporation on March 24, 2022, performing at the newly opened Ventura Music Hall. Photo by Keith Zacharsky / In the Barrel Photo

Nancy D. By Lucky Shaffer

Ventura Music Hall
1888 AD Thompson Blvd., Ventura

Midtown Ventura’s quest was intended to be everything to everyone. Opened in late 2013, it offered entertainment for all ages: bowling, foosball and shuffleboard; a stage for live music; A full-service bar and restaurant. It was as popular for children’s parties during the day as it was for concerts on weekend nights. But amid pandemic shutdowns and several legal troubles (co-founder Jeremy Pemberton was arrested on fraud charges in June 2020), the sprawling space was shut down.

But sometimes challenges the occasion, as a one-time bowling alley has returned with vigor and vigor as the Adi Ventura Music Hall.

First-class concerts in small markets

The rebirth of the venue came courtesy of the Oakland-based “Independent Alliance of Artists, Managers and Promoters”, music festivals (California Roots Music and Arts Festival is one of the best known) and the Oakland-based “Independent Alliance of Artists, Managers and Promoters”. United States, largely in California. Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, Mystic Theater in Petaluma and Cornerstone in Berkeley are group properties.

“You get a real show, a real concert experience,” says Thomas Cousins, co-founder and president of Inefable Music. Photo by Daniel Swann

Infable Music acquired the Discovery Ventura building during the pandemic and, with the help of Bruce Flohr (Red Light Management) and Mark Geiger (co-founder of Lollapalooza), refashioned it into a space entirely dedicated to concerts.

“Our focus is the music,” says Thomas Cousins, co-founder and president of Ineffable Music. “We’re not party people – we book bands.”

Ventura was the ideal city for Ineffable Music, which was founded in 2006. Specializing in what Cussins describes as a “small, secondary market,” the group’s venues bridge the gap between small and intimate bars and large stadiums and concert halls. According to Cussins, music lovers don’t have to pay big bucks to drive to big cities and hear live music.

“You’ve got to have some really good bands in Los Angeles without having to take a $100-plus Uber,” he says. Offering food and beverages allows for a complete entertainment experience at one location. “Dinner and a show, that’s always been our catchphrase.”

Ventura Music Hall shares one thing with the old Discovery: While the games and bowling alleys have been removed, it’s still an all-ages event (at least). That thought was something Cousin felt strongly about.

“It’s not a bar or a club – it’s a concert hall,” he explains. “We want families to come together to enjoy an event. And teenagers need a safe place to go out.”

Catering to performers and audiences

No longer a bowling alley, Ventura Music Hall is a dedicated concert venue with state-of-the-art equipment, improved acoustics, a large dance floor and ample seating. Photo by Keith Zacharsky / In the Barrel Photo

Transforming Innovation into Ventura Music Hall is a significant renovation. A large stage, a state-of-the-art sound system (Cousins ​​describes it as “like in Greek”), a separate section for the lighting and music engineer were installed. The center of the club has a large dance floor, surrounded by booths and other seating. A giant C-shaped bar near the entrance keeps patrons refreshed, while food is provided by Ventura-based popup Ruff House BBQ. All told, the venue has a 635-person capacity, with ample room for both seating and dancing.

Cussins is proud of the quality concert experience Ventura Music Hall can now offer. “You get a real show, a real concert experience.” Moreover, it attracts more and better talent. “Any band can come here before playing the Hollywood Bowl and feel comfortable with our equipment.”

In fact, since opening in March 2022, Ventura Music Hall has hosted some big names, such as G. Love and The Juice, Thievery Corporation, Hot Chip, Don Felder, Bob Mould, X. But smaller bands, up-and-comers and local acts (including some tribute bands) have also made their way onto the stage. And almost every genre is represented, from blues and country to rock and reggae and beyond.

“That’s the idea,” Cousins ​​says. “As long as there are good bands that need a home, we’ll be there for them. . . . We try to have a diverse lineup.”

Another perk for bands: a green room with a full bathroom and shower.

He says, “I want artists to feel at home.

“The Matter of a Lifetime”

One thing Cousins ​​is quick to say about the inevitable music group’s arrival in Ventura County: It’s meant to be a lasting relationship. The cousins ​​also bought a house a few blocks from the scene.

He says, ‘We have been working on this project for almost two years. “This is a lifetime thing for us – we’re not looking to make a quick buck.”

To that end, Cousins ​​says he talked at length with city officials and local police, and listened to residents’ concerns at city council meetings. “It was critical that we talk to all stakeholders in the community.”

What he learned was that despite some concerns about parking and noise — which he addressed with an expanded parking lot and top-notch acoustics that kept the sound inside — everyone seemed hungry for more music, art and entertainment in the city.

“There’s a vibrant community in Ventura that appreciates the arts,” he says. He wants Ventura Music Hall to be a valuable contributor to such an environment.

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