I have spent the majority of my career working in live music and performance venues, playing virtually every role imaginable, both on and off stage. 

Ten of those years were spent working in venues that I also co-owned; the Electric Lounge (1993 – 1999) and ND (2008 – 2013).

Venues are multi-faceted, constantly changing puzzles.  There are so many moving parts and factors related to their ultimate success or failure that it would be impossible to list them.  It’s both an art and a science.  While one must understand and respect certain fundamental elements that make up the guts and bones of a venue (and will plague you for eternity if you don’t get them right), there is also a great deal of instinct, vision, and feel involved in building the beast. 

 I have been in the trenches in these venues -- and helped build those trenches.  I have seen venues from the original spark of concept, through the acquisition and development / build-out process, all the way into operations, and at both the Lounge and ND I was a hands-on operating partner, working in the space day and night.  The lessons I have learned are invaluable; coming both from blazing successes and bitter defeats. 

 I can tell you this:  if you are starting down the road towards building a new venue and it’s your first time … seek advice now.  If it’s not me, talk to someone else who’s done it before.  Don’t go it alone.  In any entertainment market if you take a look at the number of new venues that pop up in a given year, then come back a year later to see how many of them are still around, you’ll see that it’s a tough business.  It’s a business that I love, and as in anything, great rewards don’t come without risk.

Here are some photos of ND, showcasing both the main room and the Lounge bar.   

Photos by Devaki Knowles.


Here's some video that shows ND in action.  The Good Music Club is a monthly showcase of great local bands, curated by KUT FM's Laurie Gallardo, and videotaped by my friend Richard Whymark and API Productions.  For more, check out www.thegoodmusicclub.com.

Enjoy these videos, featuring Shakey Graves, The Calm Blue Sea, and The Sideshow Tragedy.