After two years of hosting musicians and nurturing the local music scene, The Soundgarden in Coombs has undergone a facelift.
Although the building’s cozy capacity of 45 had ensured an intimate concert experience, it also resulted in some limitations for the people promoting the venue.
For that reason a wall was taken out and what once contained an office is now a new stage.
Shelley Beeston and Sharon Tomczyk are the inspiration behind The Soundgarden.
When they opened the doors to live acts in 2012 the pair envisioned the building as a learning space as well as a music venue for house-style concerts.
The intimate venue allowed performers to be up-close and personal with the audience and the crowd to cradle the artist’s music with love.
But Beeston said the love was starting to fade and that intimate concert experience was hurting ticket sales and setting them back.
“For the shows, I found that squishing 45 people in the main room with the stage taking up half the space, although cozy, was a little too cozy. People found it a bit uncomfortable and that was affecting attendance of shows,” she stated.
Now that they have moved the stage to the other end of the room they can sit 65 people comfortably. “The whole idea is for people to have a great experience in an intimate venue so we decided to take out the office because that room was bigger and deeper than our original stage.” Beeston said their goal is to continue to bring musicians together and inspire those who want to get involved in the music scene. “Part of what The Soundgarden represents is bringing new artists into the area who are not known, but are really good. Nurturing young talent is also part of our concept.”
On Saturday, May 31, Ian Sherwood, a talented musician from Nova Scotia will be performing a mix of folk and pop music in the larger venue.
Beeston, who describes him as a young James Taylor said “he is our first show on the new stage and he is incredible.” Look for a feature on Sherwood in The NEWS’ Thursday edition.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $15 and can be purchased at the Coombs General Store, Smithfords in Qualicum Beach and Cranky Dog Music in Parksville.
Beeston, who has been the lead singer for local rock group Baby Jane for more than 15 years, also teaches voice and guitar and some of her young students will be performing in a showcase on Saturday, June 21 at The Soundgarden.
Chrystie Mountain, who Beeston has been mentoring for a couple of years, will open the show and Beeston said her student is becoming an incredible musician.
The showcase runs from 2 to 5 p.m. and then there will be an open-mic event where people can sign-up to perform. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Visit www.thesoundgarden.org for more details.