I missed the "town hall" meeting with Live Nation last week, but received an email from Mike Diegel with a paraphrased version of the crowd's questions and Live Nation's responses. Thought I'd pass this along as an FYI...
Q: Local musicians are looking for a low-cost place to produce their music; will Fillmore be available and at what rate?
A: While there's no rate sheet yet, we hope to provide a place for local
Q: What about noise on the streets for people who live downtown?
A: We'll shut down a little earlier than most clubs, encourage people to use public transportation. Most people will be there to hear the music.
Q: Will the venue be a magnet for drugs and alcohol?
A: Our liquor license is on the line; we'll take it very seriously. Shows are not what they used to be; most people there to hear the music. We'll also have an opportunity to learn what bands draw what kinds of crowds.
Q: When will construction start and what kinds of things could get in the way?
A: Interested people should reach out to County Council reps and let them know they want the Fillmore soon. (Mike: sign-up sheet on side table; we'll keep you informed. Mike explains process for state, county.)
Q: What are the differences/similarities between the Fillmore and the Birchmere? Was disappointed the Birchmere plans fell through.
A: There'll be a broader scope of music, more people. A few of the artists might be the same. Can easily see one band performing in Alexandria, Silver Spring, and Baltimore -- rather than just one stop in the DC metro area. People don't like to drive, so all the venues would do well.
Q: So you'd book them all in your venues?
A: Not necessarily; could be in any venue, but Fillmore Silver Spring will be the centerpiece. This will be the nicest venue. (emphasis mine)
Q: What about food and alcohol?
A: We'll serve food (more like snacks) but won't have a working kitchen. We'll serve alcohol.
Q: What kinds of bookings will you do? Will there be 2nd & 3rd tier and emerging artists?
A: We'll have a variety of acts. And yes, absolutely there will be opportunities for emerging artists to come into their own.
Q: Will there be opportunities for local artists as opening acts?
A: Yes; we don't like it when groups bring their own openers.
Q: Will it be a standing only venue?
A: No, there will be multiple ways to arrange the space to accommodate seated and standing crowds. Some bands don't want to perform at a seated venue.
Q: What do you mean? I'd rather have a seated venue. Will get a better crowd.
A: Some bands want a livelier atmosphere. No matter what, the nicer you make the place, the better people will behave. This will be the nicest venue around.
Q: How are you planning on partnering on others in the region so that you won't deplete each other with bookings?
A: Don't think that will be a problem.
Q: Do you have mock-ups of the interior we can see?
A: They're being revised. There will be a balcony and a lower floor.
Q: Can you go for a more unique look with the façade -- not quite as trendy?
A: We're required to keep the façade because it’s designated historic.
Q: Who'll be responsible for security (inside versus outside)?
A: Good question; hasn't been decided yet.
Q: A lot of people are looking for a good meeting place in town.
A: (Mike answers: The new Civic Center will serve that purpose; groundbreaking to occur very soon).
Q: Brilliant idea to have a large enough venue to host conferences, meetings, when stage is dark. Will bring lots of people to Silver Spring; they'll empty out into the streets to shop and eat.
Q: What about other economic incentives for the area -- local hires, vendors, etc?
A: We'll be hiring full and part-time staff. We'll be looking for the best vendors and want to support local vendors.