The Garage, in Burnsville, recently underwent renovations to its main stage area, lighting, and sound booth.
The main stage was completely redone, new floors were put in, the lighting rig was redone and so was the sound booth giving the venue a much needed facelift. The renovations were paid for by the city of Burnsville as part of their ten-year budget.
The Garage is a nonprofit music venue owned by Catalyst Music. The venue offers an all-ages experience that can be hard to find. “There’s only probably one or two other places in the nation that are set up the way that we are,” said Jack Kolb-Williams, executive director at The Garage.
The Garage has seen many bands come through who go on to become big names. Kolb said one of his favorite shows happened just this past July: Jeff Rosenstock with Remo Drive, Heart to Gold, and Laura Stevenson. Kolb said that show took place at a time when Remo Drive were seriously starting to pick up some steam.
“It was a blast just seeing people have such a great time and being so proud of a local group like that,” Kolb said.
The importance of what The Garage does has only intensified with the closing of venues like the Triple Rock. “To be perfectly honest, Minneapolis and St. Paul are sort of the beaten path for most bands,” Kolb said. “Any time a music venue goes down, it sucks. We’re losing a beacon.”
Renovations were completed this fall, and the spiffed-up venue has proven an apt showcase for bills like this past weekend’s Ugly Sweater Party. One of the bands on that bill were NightStones, who told The Current’s Maia Jacobson about the importance of all-ages venues like The Garage.
“The worst thing about being young in the scene is the lack of respect that is sometimes given to you because there is an assumption of ignorance and lack of knowledge, skill, and ability,” they wrote in a message from their Facebook page. “But the best parts are that when you do prove to the nay-sayers that you actually do have skill and knowledge, you are given lots of opportunities to grow and become great.”