[Outdoor performances also will be offered through the Fox Valley Music Foundation's new live music destination, where local to international artists will be booked, and classes and lectures are planned.]
The Venue, which has seating for 198 people, already is off to a promising start. Its June 1 grand opening show – featuring Aurora native Noah Gabriel, Chicago artist Nicole Amine, The Grateful String Band and headliner Toronzo Cannon – is sold out. Cannon, a Chicago blues musician, performed at last year's Blues on the Fox festival.
"We thought that it was appropriate that Noah be the first person to play on the stage," Warrenfeltz said. "His first album was called 'In Aurora.'"
And those who want to hear some music after the acts at this year's Blues on the Fox leave the stage can drop by The Venue. The Steepwater Band will perform June 14 at The Venue, following the festival, and noted Chicago blues guitarist Wayne Baker Brooks will play June 15.
The 6,400-square-foot, city-owned building once housed a Woolworth store. A team of volunteers has been working on the project. Likewise, many of the materials also have been donated.
Beer and wine will be available for purchase, as well as nonalcoholic drinks. While The Venue does not plan to sell food, patrons are welcome to bring in their own.
"That way we can share some of the wealth and get people to travel outside of our doors," said musician and artist Lisa Gloria, who helps out the Fox Valley Music Foundation in many ways, including doing social media and marketing for the organization. "Hopefully, we're bringing in people not just from Aurora, but the entire area."
The Venue is located next to Mundy Park and Water Street Mall. On nice days, The Venue plans to put on free shows in the park on its mobile stage.
There are nods to Aurora's music heritage throughout The Venue, including its restrooms, a project Gloria oversaw.