Before The Empty Space goes "The Full Monty" with the return of community theater, it is turning over the stage to 3 Days in Space. This weekend's all-ages music event will bring together more than 15 bands performing over three days.
Organizer Dylan Geurtsen credits an insider — his wife, Cory, who is one of the theater's artistic directors — for the hot tip on a new venue.
"I knew that they were getting ready to open back up with 'The Full Monty' in September, and there was a possibility for an opening (in the schedule)," he said. "It seemed like a possible venue outside of the normal bar scene that everybody already plays."
Although most of the bands haven't played venues recently, sticking to livestream and other events during the pandemic. Geurtsen said this event will be the first time most of these acts have played in a year and a half.
"I knew that there had to be a return to shows and the normal route didn't seem appealing to me."
That seems to be the case with other musical acts in town, he said.
"Everybody is kind of searching for something new. ... It's happening in other venues. People are trying to do this in backyards, looking for new, innovative places and ways to have shows."
The lineup consists of acts that run the rock spectrum — "I consider anything with live guitars and drums to kind of be rock," Geurtsen said — with many bands from his Killer Kern Records label including his band Niner Niner, If It Kills You, Make Mine Yours, Modern Wives, The Binges and Delphinium.
Other acts include Band Called Kevin, Dropping In, Disasters, Riley Geare, Tall Dark, Matt Salkeld, Some Gifts, Cities You Wish You Were From, Still Missing, Lou Beauty and Joey Romley.
"Everybody is really stoked to be able to play in front of an audience. Just to play with our friends. We are a community."
Geurtsen said he hopes there is some cross-pollination between music fans and theater fans, which in the Venn diagram of fandom don't always overlap.
"Some musicians don't go to plays. I was one of those people. (My wife) Cory from the get-go would say, 'I bought you a ticket. You're going.’ And I realized what a treat theater is, what extremely talented actors we have. I wish I could share that with all my musician buddies, bring a light to it.
"It would be great if we were supporting each other. I mean how awesome would that be?"
The event will also feature DJ Phantom Stranger, aka Patrick Spurlock, playing between band sets and liquid light projections by Mellow Doses. There will also be records and other band merchandise as well as concessions (including beer for the over-21 crowd) sold as well.
In light of current CDC recommendations, masks are recommended for all inside the theater.
And don't worry about the temperature. Proving the ingenuity of musicians, one of the members of Modern Wives, who is also an air conditioning tech, is on the case.
"He came and inspected to make sure it was good for the weekend," Geurtsen said. "A nice oasis from the heat for that weekend, so it will be nice."
Proceeds for the event will be split between the bands and The Empty Space.
Geurtsen hopes this won't be the last collaboration with the theater. He's even thinking of bringing in some of those talented performers.
"In the future, far off, we could integrate it a little more. Have quick one-acts between bands, especially if it has a comedic element.
"We’re just trying to get through this one first."