One business owner is looking to change the past and create a music venue at the site of the former Valarium
One business owner is looking to change the past and create a music venue at the site of the former Valarium. The International: Knoxville already saw a crowd on it's opening day.
The venue was formerly known as the Blackstock, the Electric Ballroom, and most recently, the Valarium. The building has seen many venues come and go, and it looks like a breath of fresh air to Brian Coakley.
"There has been a lot of great music that has come through here over the years. And we just want to continue carrying that torch and enrich the musical community in Knoxville the best we can," said Coakley.
Crowds lined up at the door almost seven hours before the big Saturday night show in the heat.
Gauge Patterson and William McBee used to watch shows at the Valarium. And after losing that venue, they feel The International could be the one thing that fills the void.
"It's important to have a venue for a more intimate setting where you can come see a band play live rather than the Coliseum or Thompson Boling Arena. That kind of takes away from the intimacy of being up close and personal with the band," said Patterson.
"I'm supporting them because I grew up here in Knoxville. Knoxville needs a place to rock out," said McBee.
They're seeing support from plenty, but now the question becomes: How will it avoid the fate that previous owners fell into here?
Coakley worked for the Valrium in its final years. He said the location could have been a factor of the closing.
"It's hard to sell this area because it feels so detached, but with the sports complex going in across the street I think that will help us a lot in seeming less detached with the rest of the community. People don't realize we are just a block away from Fort Sanders," said Coakley.
But he is confident that his business model will succeed.
"I feel really good about it. I think if we bring the right talent, and we treat people the right way, and we put out the vibe that people want to receive, then they will come back," said Coakley.
That, and offering shows that bring a line and music for many different tastes.