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Burnsville’s Hidden Gem

The+Garage%27s+logo+on+a+wall+near+the+stage.
The Garage's logo on a wall near the stage.

The Garage's logo on a wall near the stage.

Leslie Plesser

Leslie Plesser

The Garage's logo on a wall near the stage.

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Among its theatres, malls, and parks, there is a world of opportunity hidden in the heart of Burnsville.

The Garage is a non-profit music venue located on Civic Center Parkway. The shows are all ages, alcohol-free, and general admission. It is a four-time winner of City Pages’ “Best All-Ages Venue” award. Powered by Ticketfly and operated by Twin Cities Catalyst Music—an organization all about the local music scene—this is a place that appeals to kids, parents, and artists alike.

In discussing the benefits of a small venue, Burnsville High School freshman and concert frequenter, Kiara Decker, said, “It’s so much more intimate, not to mention usually cheaper. You’re able to connect with the people at the show along with those performing a lot more and nothing compares to that.”

Safety is a concern for everyone who attends concerts, especially young people. When asked about The Garage, Dory Hanks, mother of a high school student, said, “It’s local, so it’s not a long distance to drive. It’s a community venue and it feels safer, it would be an ideal place for beginner concert goers. Parents would feel more comfortable.”

When asked about the importance of safety, she said, “It’s important to be safe at concerts because parents don’t normally attend, so it feels like kids are unsupervised in a party atmosphere, like more of a grown-up thing. But The Garage feels manageable and safe.”

The Aquadolls playing The Garage on August 2nd

Lauren Leaseburg
The Aquadolls playing The Garage on August 2nd

“The Garage was amazing!” said Melissa Brooks, lead singer of The Aquadolls. The beach goth band stopped by the venue in August on their Cosmic Summer Tour. “The stage was huge and I had tons of room to jump around and roll on the ground, which was tight. I love small venues because of the intimacy. It’s awkward for me when the stage is far away from the crowd and I can’t give high-fives from where I am.”

Not only is it fun to play at this venue—it’s fun to work there, too. “I prepare for the upcoming shows along with maintaining the venue while they are in process,” said production manager Nicole Breidel, who will, in January, have been working at The Garage for one year. “My favorite part is being able to be immersed in each shift with one of my very favorite things: live music! I love each and every aspect of this world of sound and feel very lucky to be able to listen to everything around me.”

As written on the venue’s official website, The Garage doesn’t make artists pay to play and they don’t require a certain amount of tickets to be sold. This is unique because unlike larger, more business-oriented venues, they really have the musician in mind. So the best way to support these bands? Go to the shows.

If you are interested in becoming involved in any part the music industry, the venue hosts numerous Know Your Stuff workshops open to the public with no experience necessary. Past workshops include Going With The Flow: Getting Your Rap Delivery Right, See Ya In The Pit!: Shooting Concerts Like A Pro, and Interview It Like You Mean It. The venue also operates Garage Music News, a youth-run music magazine, and offers internships in things such as event booking, live sound production, and music journalism.

Concerts have an incredible emotional impact on audiences. Venues are the link between music and its listeners, and this connection should be made exciting while staying safe and organized. If you’re looking for a place for you or your children to enjoy shows without a worry, check out The Garage.

Coming up this winter are Tiny Moving Parts (from Benson, Minnesota), Terraform, and a sold out show from Disney star Sabrina Carpenter.

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The student news site of Apple Valley High School
Burnsville’s Hidden Gem