Nfld. & Labrador

Factory music venue looks to kickstart St. John's music scene

The people behind a new music venue in downtown St. John’s are looking to breathe some new life into the city's music community.
Factory will open its doors at 208 Water Street on March 25th, with a show featuring Steve Maloney and the Wandering Kind, AE Bridger, and Rube and Rake. (Factory)

The people behind a new music venue in downtown St. John's are looking to breathe new life into the city's music community.

"The model is basically trying to bring back an open format venue to St. John's in terms of music," said Adam Harding, who is collaborating with Denver Drake and Adam Martin to open Factory, a new music venue that is scheduled to open at 208 Water St. in late March.

Factory will take over the space from LGBT club Velvet, making it the latest in a series of venues like Junctions that have occupied the large, almost-500-capacity space on Water Street. [Velvet is moving down the road to 206 Water St. at the location formerly occupied by the Stetson Lounge.] 

In an interview with the St. John's Morning Show, Harding discussed the programming philosophy behind opening the new venue. 

"We don't want it to be off putting to have DJ's on a Friday, and a live band on a Saturday."

'A community-oriented space'

Harding, Drake and Martin have hosted the popular and queer-friendly Yung Dumb DJ Night over the past few years, and now they're hoping to recapture that success on a much larger scale.

"The model's really trying to bring back kind of a community-oriented space to the music scene in St. John's because it kind of seems like something that's been in a lull for a while now," said Harding.

"A lot of the times you're dealing with a building that fits 80 to 100 people rather than 400, and even when the ECMA's were happening and the Juno's were happening, I think there was a lack of venues to facilitate some of the bigger name bands."

Harding said Factory is also planning to open up the venue for jam space bookings for local bands, and put off all-ages daytime shows in the future. 

"Historically we used to have a great all ages scene, and now it's kind of been on a little bit of a lull for a while." he said. 

"We'd like to facilitate some of that if we can do it eventually."

About that economy ... 

He said he isn't too worried about the downturn in the economy, and is hoping that the music will draw crowds in spite of it.

"It's strange because obviously a bad economy affects every local business, but in another sense I think that entertainment and escapism has always been something that flourishes in a bad economy." he said. 

"Hopefully we just bring quality shows so people are willing to come out and brave through the tough times."

The venue will open with a soft-launch on March 25th, with a show featuring local stalwarts Steve Maloney and the Wandering Kind, AE Bridger, and Rube & Rake 

An official opening is planned for April 9th, with Ouroboros, Hear/Say and Joe Grizzly and the Wildlife.