“A party spot for all types of music”: The future of Asheville Music Hall

Photo of Asheville Music Hall, courtesy of the venue

As Xpress reported on Jan. 1, the New Earth MUZiQ team (who also owns venue New Mountain, which opened last year at 38 N. French Broad) recently acquired Asheville Music Hall and will operate it as a sister venue to New Mountain. The Patton Avenue business was listed for sale this fall. The venue holds a free grand opening party on Saturday, Jan. 10, featuring Ben Lovett’s “Time Machine” (DJed music from one decade per hour, beginning with the 1960s).

Adrian Zelski of New Earth MUZiQ shares some details about what will change, what will remain the same, and what the future holds for Asheville Music Hall.

Mountain Xpress: Will New Earth MUZiQ own One Stop and Mojo Kitchen as well as Asheville Music Hall?
Adrian Zelski:
Yes, New Earth MUZiQ will own One Stop and Mojo Kitchen and we are going to actually combine the room with the upstairs to have food in the AMH and also so people can go back and forth through both venue areas with their drinks in hand.

Will Asheville Music Hall get a new name?
No, Asheville Music Hall will stay the same. We’re going to build on the brand and really try to give it an authentic, well rounded Asheville feel as well. A lot of people say that downtown has lost its “Asheville” character so we’re going to really connect with the identity as a whole.

How will the music lineup for AMH change, and how will it differ from New Mountain’s lineup?
It will get more diversified by this summer. We will put in new floors and lighting and rearrange the design gradually to make any and all genres of music feel at home there. It will be a party spot for all types of music and demographics.

Since New Mountain is still getting up and running and still undergoing renovations, is it not a daunting task to take on ownership of a second venue as well?
Daunting is a good word. Yes it’s daunting, but I’m not afraid. Asheville is a growing community and as much as I can be a part of that growth, I will do. We had some potential drama come out this year with New Mountain when people thought that we were going to threaten the success of Asheville Music Hall, so it felt really good that KP [former AMH owner former owner Katherine “KP” Powell] came to me and asked if I would be interested in taking it over. I am a unifier, not a divider. I want all people to succeed.

I really loved how AMP (Asheville Music Professionals) came together when I first moved to Asheville last year. A group of professionals that are working together to grow an industry that Asheville can support, especially if we work together, not in dramatic competition.

I see Asheville as a seed of great culture for the Southeast and that is a very important role to fill. The more music, arts, dance, theater, gatherings, celebration that is done right in Asheville, the better. And I see the people involved in Asheville being more than capable of handling it. I tend to take on a lot and that has always been my intention. To grow with people to make something greater than the self. Asheville Music Hall and New Mountain teaming up will take some time to integrate properly and transition but the end result is going to be 40-50 people working together for basically the same goals. That, to me, is a true power.

Will AMH also become a B Corporation?
Absolutely. Everything that New Earth MUZiQ will take on will become a B Corporation. It’s a defining part of our vision. We are going to certify New Mountain by April and probably will have Asheville Music Hall certified by summer.

Any immediate plans for changes to the venue’s look or operations?
I am going to let it roll for most of January while we do the legal work and get everything set for success. … We’re going to make it very welcoming at all times. The goal is to upfit consistently while operating to get the place to a point where it is open as much as possible, day and night.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on ““A party spot for all types of music”: The future of Asheville Music Hall

  1. Christina

    for photo caption: “stage design in this photo by Asheville-based visual studio 27 FOLDS” :)

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