Pepper Entertainment's new Sioux Falls venue officially broke ground Wednesday.
The District will be a new restaurant, lounge and large music and event venue located right beside the Empire mall in Sioux Falls.
This groundbreaking ceremony comes just one day after the Vault—another local music venue—announced it would be closing its doors.
This isn't a new story, as Sioux Falls has long struggled with keeping music venues open. Local music promoters say it takes a new approach to make these venues successful today.
Live music has become very popular at a lot of local bars and restaurants in Sioux Falls, but businesses that open specifically as a music venue have seen scattered success over the years.
It's why The District's multi-purpose venue is the new approach to making music venues successful in Sioux Falls.
"A lot of music venues have come and gone over the years," said Jayson Weihs, a Music Promoter who's worked in Sioux Falls since the 1990s.
Many of those venues saw small crowds for shows that cost a lot of money to bring in.
"If the people don't come, nothing happens, and I do feel like there's a very lacking crowd for that, unless it's a big national headliner," said Vinnie Olson, the General Manager at Boonies Bar & BBQ in Sioux Falls.
It's why many new music venues are working to be a full-service facility.
"You really have to be more than just providing a venue…because there's so much more than just having a stage and a liquor license," said Weihs.
"We weren't going to do it without the full service restaurant and lounge; because we take all the risk bringing in entertainment, we want to be able to take care of them before and after the show as well," said David Andera, a Founding Partners for the District.
"I don't think if it was just a music venue it would support itself, which is why we like the multi-theme approach for the corporate gatherings, weddings, receptions, things of that nature," said Jered Johnson, another Founding Partner for the District.
They're also changing how often they have live shows.
"Every bar wanted to have music every weekend and what that did was over saturate the market and stretch people too thin," said Weihs.
"We're really looking at reevaluating just how talent buying is done in general and we're going to be very selective to what shows we bring in the venue and how often we play the venue," said Johnson.
"There's never any shortage of people in this town that want to see live music, that want to play live music and that enjoy it and are willing to pay a cover charge to see a concert," said Weihs.
The district will include a full service restaurant and lounge that seat up to 500, as well as an event venue for crowds of up to 1500. Johnson says they're already looking to book the first act at the District's grand opening this fall.
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