If you’ve been to Club Space anytime in the last few months, you might have noticed the first floor has been unusually quiet. Other than the odd spilled drink or occasional couple making out on a chair, the room has been devoid of the lights and music that have propelled Space to the forefront of the Miami scene.
That’s set to change this Thursday, when electronic body music figureheads Front 242 take the stage in the venue now-christened the Ground. According to Space co-owner and III Points co-founder David Sinopoli, converting the club’s first floor into a full-fledged venue has been a top priority since purchasing the mega-club.
“We gutted it, and then we kept it empty,” Sinopoli shares, explaining the room’s marked lack of activity. “It's a serious situation where you've got to make sure that the sound is right, the structure is right, and that we're walking into something that people will be comfortable playing.”
Referring to the renovation as “a functional redesign,” Sinopoli says that although the Ground won’t be unrecognizable, it will maximize its potential as a space for live shows rather than just DJ sets.
“Just incredible acoustics, lots of sound deadening, lots of sound installation, lots of wood, a good PA,” Sinopoli says, recounting the work the Ground has undergone in the past few months. “It's not like you're going to walk in there and see the Forge or the fucking Fontainebleau... It's going to just be a quality place to go see a show.”
Beyond the novelty that inevitably accompanies the opening of a venue, the Ground hopes to solve one of Miami's biggest problems: offering a viable midsize concert venue that’ll actually stick around. Though the dearly departed Grand Central supplied a golden opportunity for touring bands and acts with moderately sized followings from opening in 2010 until closing in 2015, its absence has made the problem more obvious and distressing, with many concert tours simply skipping Miami.
“To say it left a void... It's not even like it does it justice,” Sinopoli says of Grand Central’s closure. “It left an abyss.”
According to Patrick Walsh, the new venue’s program and marketing director, the aim of the Ground is to be as versatile as possible in its bookings.
"We want this venue to be home for all music lovers and to provide a space for all genres of music,” Walsh says. “We won't have a particular sound but will bring the best of everything, from hip-hop to metal, from electronic to folk, and everything in between.”
Walsh, a longtime fixture on Miami’s music scene who played the very first show at Grand Central, says the Ground has an important role in the ongoing rehabilitation and redefinition of Space.
“The Ground will be one facet of a Club Space family that will also include the Terrace, Loft, and Floyd — each different rooms in the building. Each will have a different identity and function but will be part of a Club Space whole,” Walsh says. “I think the meaning of Club Space will also evolve... It already has.”
Sinopoli adds there is the possibility of "a little microfestival in there, where you have three or four rooms that are going off with four different genres of music." Planned for the end of this year are evenings when the Ground will have "four different parties happening” the same night.
It’s clear the venue’s operators have every intention of hitting the ground (sorry) running with hip-hop (Blu & Exile), trip-hop (RJD2), and metal (Whitechapel) acts. One show — R&B starlet SZA — has already sold out, an enviable achievement for any venue, let alone one that hasn’t even opened its doors.
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“We're taking the live-music experience very seriously,” Walsh emphasizes. “With the help of our amazing team, attendees and artists alike can expect exceptional audio quality, stunning lights, friendly bar service, and a room that's surprisingly cozy for its size.”
The Ground has announced the following 2017 shows:
- September 21 - Front 242 with Nina Belief (live) and Mystic Bill
- September 22 - Petre Inspirescu and Roustam
- September 24 - Rata Blanca
- Octboer 7 - SZA: CTRL Tour with Ravyn Lenae
- October 18 - La Beriso
- October 25 - LCD Soundsystem afterparty
- October 26 - Rich Chigga
- October 27 - Wifisfuneral
- November 2 - Wax Tailor
- November 3 - Curren$y
- November 5 - Lil Peep
- November 12 - Whitechapel with Carnifex, Rings of Saturn, Entheos, So This Is Suffering, and Bloodbather
- November 17 - RJD2
- November 18 - Anjunadeep Showcase with 16 Bit Lolitas, Luttrell, and Jody Wisternoff
- November 25 - Blu & Exile: Ten Years of Below the Heavens
- December 6 - Jungle
- December 9 - Red Axes (live band)
The Ground. 34 NE 11th St., Miami; 305-375-0001; facebook.com/thegroundmiami.