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New Wyandotte entertainment venue hopes to attract big music acts, weddings

Posted By: The Detroit Free Press on December 14, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.


Two entrepreneurs are teaming up to put Downriver on the map with a new live music venue that they hope will find success like the Magic Bag in Ferndale or the Crofoot in Pontiac.

District 142, a 15,000-square-foot venue on Maple next to the Vault on First in the heart of downtown Wyandotte, aims to attract local and national acts plus host a space for themed events, private events and more, the promoters, 360 Event Production, announced in a news release.

Julie Law, the owner of 360 Event Production, and Joshua Cade, owner of Whiskeys on the Water, said they teamed up on the project to make the best use of all their skills. Their backgrounds are in hospitality, event production and marketing. In 2017, they formed a team for event production that went on to host a series of Downriver festivals, including Swiggin’ Pig, Fire & Flannel Fest, Wyandotte Wine Crawl, Detroit River Cocktail Showdown, St. Patrick’s Party & Leprechaun Crawl and Wyandotte Beer Fest.

Wyandotte Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Joe Gruber suggested that the pair consider setting up inside a century-old building — formerly home to nightclubs, bars and even a bowling alley — that was sitting vacant.

“When Joe showed us the building, it had been stripped down to the dirt floor, with no power or water, but we knew potential was there to turn it into a much-needed live music and entertainment venue,” said Law in a statement.

“As the owner of several Wyandotte restaurants and bars, I felt the area needed something that would drive traffic to the city year-round,” said Cade. “District 142 will be that venue — drawing in visitors for concerts as well as providing a space for residents to host weddings, parties and corporate events.”

The building was renovated to include a digital marquee and box office windows. The interior features industrial, steampunk vibes exposing the natural framing of the 1890 building but also highlighting finishes like weathered wood, metalwork stairs, exposed brick and vintage light fixtures.

Renovation company Rise Above Ventures is making its final fixes so that by March, everything will be ready for the grand opening.

For concertgoers, the variety of viewing points comes as a plus. Guests can choose from a more intimate experience on the main floor or a more elevated experience on the upper mezzanine with your typical tables, chairs, private bar and restrooms.

More features of the new live music venue include state-of-the-art lighting, a sound system and a 20-foot-by-20-foot stage.

Talent will also be provided with private dressing rooms, bathrooms with showers, a production office and on-site laundry and stage-level load-in. Once acts start rolling in, guests can buy tickets from Live Nation, which is the booking partner for the venue. The ticketing capacity is around 700 people.

Gruber has high hopes for the new entertainment facility.

“This is a tremendously exciting moment for us, and really, all Southeast Michigan and the Metro Detroit music scene.” said Joe Gruber in a written response. “The City of Wyandotte and the DDA have long supported Josh and Julie’s events which bring thousands of visitors into Wyandotte annually. Their continued investment in our community helped cement our position as a regional destination and the ‘Downtown of Downriver.’ We’re thrilled for this new venue that will allow even more people to discover all Wyandotte has to offer.”

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