Although many venues have been shuttered for the past six months over COVID-19, B-Side Live is opening this Friday, October 9, in the former Black Buzzard space in the basement of Oskar Blues at 1624 Market Street.
Hayley Steiner, who paired bands with visual artists as founder of the RiNo Showcase, will act as the venue's operator and booking manager. She says her vision for the spot is simple: "Human beings need live music, and even in a time like this, there has to be a safe place for it."
In keeping with Colorado state guidelines and local public-health orders, capacity will be limited to fifty people inside the venue at a time. The concerts will be socially distanced, and guests will be required to sit.
"Instead of buying general admission, you can buy a table for two or a table for six, or whatever suits your party," Steiner says. "But we're definitely encouraging people to please buy tickets with your party, because we can't rearrange seating arrangements."
Steiner, who's also been working for Larimer Lounge, Globe Hall and Lost Lake for the past three years, says bands will typically play two one-hour sets with an hour break in between.
"That second set gives them the chance to have more people see their show, and it gives them a chance to kind of get comfortable with the venue," Steiner says. "I think for now, that's really the best way for us to approach it."
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Although the venue is getting a major facelift over the next three months, including changing the vibe of it with murals, special glassware and rocker-chic decor, bands will still continue to perform at the venue. Steiner has booked a diverse lineup over the next few months: "I've got everything that you can imagine, because I want to be able to cater to everybody's need for music right now."
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The venue opens this Friday with indie band the Study Abroad, while folk-rock duo Many Mountains, singer-songwriter Lucas Wolf, classical-pop crossover quartet Spinphony and electronica trio Floatgoat are set to perform at the venue in the next few months.
While the B-Side moniker references the flip-side of an album or single, Steiner says the name also honors the daughter of Colin Knight, who took over Oskar Blues downtown earlier this summer. Steiner says Knight used to call his daughter Shalyn, a singer who died last year at the age of twenty, "Little B."
B-Side Live will serve food from Oskar Blues upstairs, and Steiner has also partnered with local company Art of the Spirits Whiskey to create complex whiskey flights and cocktails for events.
"I know that it's risky, and I know that it's gonna be tough," Steiner says about opening a venue during COVID-19. "But the bands' reactions and all the outpouring of love that we're receiving because of all the things that we're doing has been incredible."