March 27, 2014 by Don Russo
If you have been in the music scene in Columbia for a while, you’ve seen many venues come and go: Rockafellas, The Elbow Room, Senate Park, The White Mule, The House/Five Points Pub, and many more. One thing that Columbia has seriously lacked in the past was a midsized club that could host up-and-coming national and regional acts. Thankfully, The Music Farm and Tin Roof have come together to forge a new venue next door to the existing Tin Roof. It will hold a capacity of 1200+. Here are the reasons I believe this time it will actually succeed in Columbia:
Tin Roof and Music Farm both have a lot of combined experience in running music venues and booking music venues. They both have an extremely good track record of bringing in popular and relevant talent. Their years of experience will bring the connections that are very hard to otherwise establish. I have no doubt that they will run the business side of things very well, too.
Both venues forging this effort are also excellent at plugging into their local music scenes. Not only will you see national and regional acts there, but also you will see up-and-coming local talent represented as well. The Tin Roof is excellent at partnering with local businesses, charities, and organizations for events. They have been a great partner to Freeway Music! They have hosted our showcases, clinics, the Freeway Music Festival, and even hosted a fundraiser for us to raise money for under-served children to learn music. This local involvement will be a key component into their success.
When it comes to venues, size definitely matters. They went big, but not too big. There has never been a really good midsize venue in town. The Township and The Colonial Center seat 18,000 and 3,000+ people. The Koger Center holds approximately 2,200 people, but is mostly for “sit down” concerts. The new venue in Columbia will hold 1,200 people, which is certainly bigger than the likes of New Brookland Tavern, but no where near the bigger venues in town. Many of the concerts I’ve seen at Township are half full, which would be perfect for the new Music Farm venue. I think that emerging talent, big regional acts, smaller national acts, and big local shows will fit perfectly in this venue. A large amount of bands fit into this category and frankly, Columbia has missed out on some of these bands because of the lack of such a venue. I am certain there would be many sellouts in the new venue.
Thank goodness there is finally a midsize venue in Columbia! The experience, connections, and local mindset that Music Farm and Tin Roof will bring will make this venue a success. Look for this venue to stick around and avoid the graveyard of unsuccessful smaller venues that have proceeded it. This is an exciting time to be in the Columbia music scene!