Music venues old and new reopen for business and rev up their L-Acoustics sound systems
Los Angeles, CA, July, 2021 – After sixteen long months, live music venues are reopening across the United States. Thankfully, many have survived the pandemic, and some are opening for the first time. This past year’s intermission gave music venues a chance to quietly rebuild, reinvent, and return better than before.
Music venues bring communities together, create jobs and create experiences that simply can’t be duplicated at home. If you are a music fan, chances are you have had several unforgettable nights with an L-Acoustics sound system. L-Acoustics set the standard for premium modern PA systems with their line array Wave Sculpture Technology. The world’s festivals and most beloved venues of all sizes rely on L-Acoustics’ powerful and innovative sound systems: Coachella, Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, the Hollywood Bowl, London’s Roundhouse, The Troubadour in Los Angeles, The Bowery in NYC and countless others.
It takes courage, tenacity, and a whole lot of passion to open a new music venue in 2021. Though operating in different cities, two entrepreneurs passionate about music, Jacques Massachi and Kevin Chadwick, are on similar journeys opening new clubs with sound systems by L-Acoustics. Massachi and Chadwick both kept the faith in the restart alive and persisted during the pandemic. Both stepped up and saved historic theaters and transformed them into state-of-the-art live music venues. Any venue that wants to make a name for itself needs high-performance sound. Enter L-Acoustics.
Jacques Massachi is the founder and director of the highly anticipated venue The Vermont in Hollywood, California. Though this is his first live music venue, Massachi and his team have proven they have the vision to design and create unique event spaces. One of these, the Lombardi House, is a beautiful barn venue in the middle of Hollywood that is booked year-round for weddings, fundraisers, and corporate events. Massachi followed up this success with Casita Hollywood, another gorgeous indoor/outdoor event space, this time with a desert oasis flair.
In 2015, Massachi began his most challenging project, The Vermont Hollywood (capacity 1200). Built in 1939 and first known as the Campus Theatre, it was a famous movie theater in its day. Vacant for over ten years, it was in deteriorating condition when Massachi took it over. He explains, “Vermont is a completely different property for us. A lot of love, a lot of energy. And if it weren’t because of the passion, we would not be able to overcome all the challenges we’ve had.” From grassroots campaigning to get the entitlement approved, fixing a leaky roof, and clearing out squatters, Massachi stayed true to his vision and transformed it into a state-of-the-art multi-purpose, live performance venue. Massachi adds “We built The Vermont Hollywood to pay homage to the gilded Hollywood years. We want everyone who walks through those doors to have an awe-inspiring experience, to relax, and feel transported for decades to come.”
Massachi spared no expense building an entire second-floor VIP section, installing over 100 tons of air conditioning, pixel mapping stage lighting, and bringing in a whopping 1600 amps of power – enough to power the whole city block. From the beginning, he worked with expert consultants to improve the design, lighting, and acoustics. When it came to sound, Massachi turned to Adam Figueroa and Aaron Silvey the installs team at Rat Sound Systems Inc., owned by Dave Rat, sound consultant and legendary live engineer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine.
Dave Rat, based out of Los Angeles, is a live sound expert. When he designs live sound systems for festivals and event spaces, he uses L-Acoustics. Rat is a long-time devotee of the L-Acoustics line array. He says, “L-Acoustics has put much thought and energy into perfecting the sound quality of line array systems. L-Acoustics is a leader and an innovator, and I am always excited to work with their products.”
For the Vermont, Massachi was eager to make the best-sounding live venue in Los Angeles, and it should come as no surprise that Rat recommended L-Acoustics. Massachi adds, “The PA system was an important part of it. We wanted to have a very robust sound system and tons of rigging capacity. We had to beef up the structure a lot to accommodate loudness measures to make sure the sound doesn’t bleed out.”
The Vermont Hollywood is the first venue in North America to have the L-Acoustics K3 loudspeaker system as a permanent installation. Massachi explains, “The first time I heard our K3 system at The Vermont, I was blown away. It resonated through every inch of my body and was an epic and magical experience. I know that our patrons will appreciate being in a space that allows for a truly entertaining and engaging experience for all.” When it opens in August 2021, the Vermont Hollywood will serve the community as an independent music venue for multiple genres of live touring acts.
Across the country, the Floridian Social Club (capacity 800) is a new live music and special events venue, recently crowned “an art deco jewel in the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida.” It was originally The Old State Theater, built in 1924. Kevin Chadwick, the co-founder of KW Commercial, found the building in a dilapidated state when he purchased it in 2018. Extensive renovations took two and a half years to complete, but despite many obstacles, the Floridian Club opened on January 1st, 2021. Chadwick explains, “Ironically, I think Covid may have helped us in the long run because it gave us additional time to implement a design we could be proud of.” Chadwick and his team changed the room from a standing room theater to a seated café-style format with VIP sections and banquettes, allowing people additional autonomy and comfort.
Chadwick created an environment that welcomes all community members and presents high-level talent from all music genres, so no one feels left out. He explains, “The Floridian Social Club is a music venue committed to live music six days a week. Since we opened, the reception has been unbelievable. It’s been overwhelming, quite frankly. We are pretty much sold out every night.” The Floridian Social Club supports the local Tampa music scene and aims to support national touring acts starting July 1st. A friend of musicians all his life, Chadwick built the venue with musicians’ comfort in mind. “It is my mission to get artists back up and touring and to encourage them to feel confident about going back to work.”
When choosing the right PA for the Floridian Social Club, Chadwick knew he wanted a rugged sound system that was powerful enough to support national touring acts. Chadwick surveyed every musician he knew, and they unanimously recommended L-Acoustics. Chadwick chose the L-Acoustics Kara II speakers from the L-Acoustics K Series. He explains, “I wanted a sound system where touring bands felt very comfortable, and their sound guy can easily plug and play. L-Acoustics speakers are bulletproof and built to last. The sound of the L-Acoustics Kara system is sensational.”
Installed by Pat Clark of ESI Production Services, the Kara II is an industry benchmark, a 2-way active loudspeaker speaker with dual 8″ and a max SPL of 142 dB. It is ideal for applications that require clarity and long throw capability, such as performing arts, congregations, large corporate, or special events. Kara II is a modular system that can be deployed on its own or combined with associated subwoofers to address medium-capacity mobile and touring applications.
Chadwick shared some final thoughts on reopening and seeing people reunite with live music: “People are finally getting the opportunity to go out, and they cannot have fun fast enough. It is exciting to see bands back on stage. You see the spark, and you see the energy in the crowd. I think that they’re going to remember the year the music stopped, and they’re going to appreciate it even more going forward.”
Hi-res images of The Vermont Hollywood
Hi-res images of Floridian Social Club