INTRODUCTION - WHAT WE'RE UP TO
We are Vickie and Peter Van Ness of gimmeLIVE and we’re looking to open a new, intimate listening room with flexible seating in downtown Beverly, MA (about 25 miles north of Boston) right in the heart of the City’s Arts District.
We just signed a long-term lease on a beautifully restored, historic building formerly owned by members of Le Grand David and his own Spectacular Magic Company, which was the longest consecutively running stage magic show in the world until it closed in 2012.
WHAT MAKES 9 WALLIS SO SPECIAL?
Once we open, 9 Wallis will offer something not available elsewhere in Beverly: a fully-accessible, year-round performance space with flexible seating that can also host fundraisers, corporate events and private parties (see splash page) in any number of configurations:
- cabaret-style seating at small tables
- theatre-style seating with a bigger stage
- cocktail parties
- formal seated dinners
If you can imagine it, we can envision it and make it happen.
We’ll equip 9 Wallis with state-of-the-art sound, lighting, staging and everything else needed to produce exceptional events -- from your next birthday party to corporate meetings to concerts and comedy that could be raising money for your favorite charity.
If you’ve been to any of our shows over the past decade, you know why we have a reputation of presenting critically acclaimed entertainment in glorious venues with top-notch production. That reputation will continue and expand at 9 Wallis.
JOIN OUR ADVENTURE?
As you might expect, opening a new venue is expensive. We need tables, chairs, staging, lighting, a sound system, mics, stands, cables, initial inventory, office supplies, etc. Plus we have to pay hefty fees for various licenses, insurance, rent, utilities – all before we can earn any money in ticket sales or function rentals. When you add all this up, we need about $15,000.00 just to get the doors open.
We don’t have a lot of money, but we’re putting everything we do have into 9 Wallis and asking you to help with $8,500.00 to get it all started.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
We’ve got some “wicked awesome” (as we say in Massachusetts) rewards that we hope will help inspire you join us in this adventure. From signing our wall of supporters to an invitation to our grand opening gala, to your name in lights above our stage. Or maybe you’d like be a judge at a comedy festival or singer-songwriter festival. Or have a drink named after you (or a friend of yours). Check out our rewards and pick one that tickles your fancy and fits within your budget.
BIG PLANS FOR 2017
Those of you who know us may have guessed that we have big plans for 9 Wallis – and you’d be right. We are already planning an opening Gala in February, plus a Comedy Festival and a Singer-Songwriter festival this spring (2017) and we’re booking national touring artists for summer and fall. If we’re able to raise more than we need to open, we’ll rev up this adventure to include:
- More national touring artists in 2017
- A 2nd Comedy Festival in 2017
- A 2nd Singer-Songwriter Festival in 2017
- Expand the genres of music and entertainment we present (perhaps you’ll give us some new ideas)
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT LIVE ENTERTAINMENT?
Having presented over 100 shows in the past few years, we’ve experienced a remarkable phenomenon: something magical happens when you go to a live show . There’s a powerful energy flowing among the artists and fans that transports all of us to a place we've never been before and we can’t get to any other way. You know it. You’ve felt it. So have we.
Let’s bring 9 Wallis to life together.
Risks and challenges
In order to open we need an Entertainment License issued by the City of Beverly and an Alcoholic Beverage License which has to be approved by the City of Beverly and ultimately issued by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABCC). We have completed all the required paperwork, paid the initial fees and we are awaiting approval of both licenses.
We have an excellent reputation and we have been granted every license we’ve ever needed to produce all kinds of shows from major outdoor festivals and fundraisers to smaller, more intimate events.
Competition from other local performing arts venues poses another risk. However, 9 Wallis will be the only area venue to offer comfortable table seating at ticketed shows featuring both national touring artists and local rising stars. We will have no distracting TVs and will keep the bar noise to a minimum during performances. Plus, we have built a successful business presenting shows in Beverly, not by taking fans away from the competition, but by expanding the fan base to include tens of thousands of people from over 300 cities and towns within an hour’s drive.
Perhaps most importantly, the people of Beverly, MA have embraced the arts and are committed to using the creative economy to drive economic development. In 2014, the City of Beverly in partnership with Beverly Main Streets and Montserrat College of Art launched the Beverly Arts District (BAD) specifically to attract multiple venues within walking distance of each other. 9 Wallis is right in the heart of the BAD.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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