It may be situated in Connecticut's so-called "quiet corner," but since opening its doors in 2008, Norfolk's Infinity Music Hall and Bistro (infinityhall.com) has made quite a stir in the region, delivering more than 900 shows to more than 100,000 patrons in the process.
Now state officials are doubling down on the venue's success. On Wed., Sept. 26, Connecticut Gov. Dannell Malloy announced that the Department of Economic and Community Development requested funding to enable the creation of a second, larger Infinity Music Hall and Bistro—effectively anchoring the proposed Front Street "entertainment district" in the state's capital.
"Attracting and retaining business is a top priority," Gov. Malloy explained. "This project will do both by bolstering economic activity in Hartford and creating a draw for people from throughout the region."
On Wednesday, Oct. 3, the State Bonding Commission approved the funding—assuring that Infinity owner Dan Hincks' downtown vision will in fact become a reality.
"We appreciate the financial assistance and are very excited to build an intimate, acoustically pristine theater to showcase the best music in the world, of all genres, for the people of Connecticut and beyond," Hincks declares. "We've become well known for our great sound, friendly staff and exceptional food in Norfolk. We are going to provide patrons with those same great experiences and look forward to being a significant part of Hartford's renaissance."
Current plans for the new facility call for 400 seats on the stage level, 100 in a mezzanine where show-goers can also enjoy beverages and a meal during performances (the current Norfolk site seats a total of 300).
While Hincks foresees breaking ground on the Front Street music hall and bistro later this year, he doesn't anticipate a grand opening until late 2013.
Closer to home, a ground-up restoration of Stafford, Conn.'s Palace Theater is nearly complete. Look for more info in this column next week, and look for roots/revival scene darlings Coyote Grace (Oct. 25) and five-time Grammy nominees Roomful of Blues (Oct. 27) to host the venue's grand opening weekend.
In other news... hot on the heels of Torch Tones, his recently-released seventh studio effort, beloved bluesman Mark Nomad (marknomad.com) checked in to report a neat little hometown gig he has on the books for this weekend.
"I'm performing solo acoustic at Luthier's Co-Op Saturday, Oct. 13," the Easthampton resident explains. "So I'll be playing original songs from Torch and more, as well a healthy dose of Delta blues, I am sure."
Saturday's performance will begin at 9:30 p.m.
Last but not least, a programming note from Springfield's MassMutual Center. EDM spectacular Fantazia 360 Degrees, originally slated for Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Center, has been "rescheduled and relocated" to UMass' Mullins Center (mullinscenter.com) Oct. 31.
"It's unfortunate that we didn't have the reschedule date available, but we are happy that the show is staying in the Pioneer Valley and will play at our sister venue," said Matt Holland of Global Spectrum, the organization that manages both properties.
"We hope the last-minute changes do not deter previous ticket buyers from coming out to Amherst," adds Fantazia's Tim Bonito. "This is an incredible show, and both venues know it's about satisfying and entertaining our fan base."
Ticket purchasers at the MassMutual Center must return their tickets to obtain a full refund at the point of purchase, then purchase new tickets for Oct. 31. Those who purchased tickets online or by phone via credit card will have their payments automatically refunded.
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