Miami, do you miss the days of Studio A? Tired of trekking up to Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach to see a show just because Miami lacks a mid-size venue? Did you feel some shows scheduled north of the county line, like Peaches, the Virgins, Of Montreal, and more would have worked better had they taken place in the Magic City? Well, those crazy Poplife kids have got our backs and an answer to the void left after Studio A called it quits: Grand Central (10 NE 7th Street, Miami).
Located, directly south of Miami's infamous Park West club district, the venue is rumored to be big enough to handle mid-size shows.
In our business records search ('cause we're crafty like that), we found out that the venue was incorporate under the name "GC Lounge, Inc" in January and registered under Aramis Lorie's (of Poplife) name along with two other partners.
So far the earliest that we know you'll be able to check out the new space is on March 24 during Winter Music Conference. Nite Jewel (Italians Do It Better) and Brooklyn's Tanlines will be christening the stage.
In our own words of wisdom, the key success to Grand Central will be the booking, which is one of the areas Studio A failed miserably at. Being able to "steal" shows from Revolution Live won't be easy, but Poplife is well armed, having done shows of different sizes all over Miami for several years. If anyone can do it, they can.
We'll have try to have some more information soon and to talk with Lorie and Barbara Basti, so stay tuned.
UPDATE: We spoke to Basti on the phone and asked her to give us the lowdown on the venue as well as clear up some confusion we had.
New Times: Will Grand Central operate as a live music venue/nightclub like Studio A did?
Barbara Basti: No, it's an event space, so it will be more versatile to do a bunch of different things.
So it will be something more in the vein of Soho Studios or Charcoal Studios?
Yes, but better equipped to be a live venue than those spaces. For me, going to Soho Studios [for a live music event] the sound is horrendous. It's such an empty space so it doesn't absorb the sound. Don't get me wrong though, I appreciate the kind of events put on there, but they just don't work.
How big is the space?
I think around 10,000 square feet.
The Wednesday night Winter Music Conference event held by WVUM calls the space "Grand Central Forum" but it's incorporated as "GC Lounge, Inc." What's the official name?
Just "Grand Central."
Will there be events planned at Grand Central the entire week of WMC?
Yes, the place is booked the whole week from Wednesday to Saturday.
Since you are calling it an "event space," there will still be a full-liquor bar, right?
Yes, full liquor. WMC isn't actually the opening of Grand Central though. We'll close down again to finish things off, and the actual opening will be later this year.
Will Poplife handle most of the bookings for the space?
Yes, but we'll work with other people as well.
You know, where Studio A failed in a major way was booking. They kept on hiring and firing agents all the time -- some good, some bad. Hopefully you guys won't make the same mistake and be able to gain some ground on Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale.
We aren't looking to be too competitive with spaces like Fillmore Miami Beach and Revolution Live. We aren't going to allow the prices to be ridiculously high. But some bands prefer to play Miami instead of Fort Lauderdale because there is a bit of difference between the two. We also have good relationships with several booking agents, and I'm sure they will be willing to work with us.
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Beyond WMC, do you have anything else booked?
Right now we only have WMC, and there are still some contracts and acts pending, that's why we haven't released the full lineup. But there is nothing booked beyond that.
Anything else to add?
It's going to fill a hole left in the area after Studio A's departure, and it's going to be more versatile than anything else.