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Sneak peek: The Factory concert venue gears up for July grand opening
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Sneak peek: The Factory concert venue gears up for July grand opening

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Sneak peek of the Factory in Chesterfield

"Music Factory II" by WrenArt Sculptures on display outside the Factory entertainment venue in Chesterfield photographed on Wednesday, June 02, 2021. The venue will have its grand opening on July 16 and will feature a performance by deadmau5. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

After a delay caused by the pandemic, the doors will open July 16 at the Factory concert venue in Chesterfield with a show by electronic artist deadmau5.

The $23 million facility is adjacent to the District, a redevelopment of Chesterfield Outlets (originally Taubman Prestige Outlets).

Among the shows on the schedule at the two-level Factory are St. Louis comedian Nikki Glaser, pop band Bleachers, rocker Melissa Etheridge, country band Old Dominion, rock bands Glass Animals, In This Moment and Black Veil Brides, blues legend Buddy Guy, YouTube sensation Marc Rebillet and rapper Jelly Roll. A private VIP event this weekend will feature a couple of St. Louis bands.

Brian Carp, chief operating officer at the Factory at the District, gives a look inside the Chesterfield concert venue, which opens to the public July 16 with a show by electronic artist deadmau5. 

Sneak peek of the Factory in Chesterfield

A view of the stage from the seated balcony at the Factory

Though the Factory was ready for its original May 1 opening date, touring bands weren’t ready to hit the road, so the venue took a little more time for fine-tuning.

“Our goal in starting this is to give something to the entertainment community — another outlet for events and music,” says Brian Carp, the Factory’s chief operating officer. “To come through the pandemic and come out on the other side of it has been rewarding and gratifying.”

Carp says it was important that the Factory’s first batch of concert announcements included a wide variety. “It’s important to touch all genres,” he says.

The first show announcements hit several genres including country, rock, comedy and blues, but there are more offerings to come.

“We know we’re not serving everyone (with the first shows announced), though that’s the goal,” Carp says. “It’s just taking longer than we’d like. Country was eager to return. Other genres are slower to return. We’ve got some things we can’t talk about ... that we can’t wait to talk about.”

The 2015 Governors Ball Music Festival New York - Day 2

Deadmau5 performs June 6, 2015, in New York. 

Sneak peek of the Factory in Chesterfield

A "golactic chandelier" by artist Chris Merrick hangs from the ceiling of the Factory at the District in Chesterfield on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The venue will have its grand opening on July 16 and will feature a performance by deadmau5. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Opening with a show by deadmau5 is a major coup for the Factory. The dance music artist has not performed in the St. Louis market for over a decade.

“It’s been years since he toured clubs,” Carp says. “He’s been a festival headliner. Our being a part of a very short summer tour for him will really help us showcase the venue.”

A centerpiece of the Factory’s concert hall is its “Golactic chandelier,” a custom-built lighting monstrosity high above the venue floor that can be incorporated into the show. Chris Merrick created the fixture.

“We love the fact we’re launching with something we can feel proud of and feel the community will embrace,” Carp says.

Sales for shows so far have been going well. Marc Rebillet was a quick sellout. Capacity for the show progressively was raised, and with each increase, tickets went quickly. Nikki Glaser is heading to a sellout as well.

“We’re not disappointed at all,” Carp says. “It’s all been very positive.”

The Factory expects to present 20 to 30 shows this year. In 2022, the venue is expected to present more than 100 shows.

Sneak peek of the Factory in Chesterfield

A view from the seated balcony at the Factory entertainment venue in Chesterfield on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The venue will have its grand opening on July 16 and will feature a performance by deadmau5. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Sneak peek of the Factory in Chesterfield

A Jeff Tweedy mural painted by Cbabi Bayoc, photographed on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, will greet guests as they enter the Factory entertainment venue in Chesterfield. The venue will have its grand opening on July 16 and will feature a performance by deadmau5. Photo by Jon Gitchoff

More shows will be added in July and August. As artists’ touring schedules return to normal in fall, more dates will be added to the schedule.

Capacity is flexible at 1,500 to 3,000, and the venue can be set up in different configurations depending on the needs of the show.

Amenities include seven bars, six restrooms, smoking decks, phone charging stations, a large lobby-lounge with seating and free parking.

Original paintings by St. Louis artist Cbabi Bayoc adorn the Factory’s entrances. The pieces depict St. Louis-area music history — Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Jeff Tweedy. An art installation by Steven Derks is in the lobby.

“It’s about comfortability,” Carp says. “We’re so passionate about making the experience great for everyone involved, from the fan experience to the band experience. They’re equally important. We value people’s decision to spend dollars here. We want fans to come back and artists to come back.”

The team behind the Factory includes the Staenberg Group, Sustaita Architects, Keystone Construction, Debbie Steamer of O’Toole Design, Logic Systems (lights, sound) and Contemporary Productions (booking).

Ultimately, one of the goals of the Factory is to add an “element to the St. Louis scene, not detracting from what is already there. There’s a massive population out here — St. Peters, St. Charles and underserved demo. We want to give people an opportunity to do things close to home.”

Where The Factory at the District, 17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield • More info 314-423-8500; thefactorystl.com

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