Bluestem Amphitheater Builds Idyllic Artist Village Of Tiny Houses
In Moorhead, Minnesota, the Bluestem Amphitheater recently created a quaint and specifically artist tailored village out of tiny houses in which it houses the multiple performers which pass through the region.
Guest post by Taylor Mims of touring industry new site Amplify
Bluestem Amphitheater for the Arts in Moorhead, Minn. is using tiny houses to create a serene artist village for their performers. The Trollwood Performing Arts School’s amphitheater was in need of appropriate accommodations for its talent since Jade Presents began working with the 3,000-seat space.
“We started doing events at the amphitheater in 2009 and it became apparent that our temporary solutions over the years we’re just not what I desired,” Jade Nielsen, President of Jade Presents, told Amplify. “As a promoter, I always look at my job as having two clients. One is the artist and the other is the patron.”
The artist village is made up of two 500-sq.-ft. tiny houses that have the look and feel of small cabins. Adjoining them to the building for management and production staff is a large deck with hand-made Adirondack chairs, hammocks and fire pits. The deck faces the Red River and overlooks vast greenery and a retaining pond.
“I’ve toured a number of times and there’s nothing better to me than getting off of the road, getting off of a bus into a space that has a real sense of calm,” Nielsen said. “So when you get off a bus prior to a set and need some down time it’s really the place where you can do it. You’re not in the thick of your regular dressing room spaces.”
The idea of using tiny homes came to Nielsen from hearing about other venues that use old homes or refurbished cabins for their artist quarters. Bluestem previously utilized industrial spaces below the amphitheater where room was limited. Nielsen explained, they “were under the stage with concrete floors and steel ceilings, very challenging to warm up and make them feel welcoming.” The new facilities can be separated into four private dressing rooms, giving artists and their company the ability to spread out comfortably.
Bluestem has been using the artist village since June 17 when Brandi Carlile played the amphitheater and have received rave reviews about the space. Artists have taken advantage of the patio grills and cooked themselves or brought in chefs instead of opting for typical catering. There is over a half mile before the next structure, so artists and their teams have space to walk, ride bikes or if they have a dog on tour, it can roam the grounds.
“We don’t want them to feel rushed after the show if they just want to sit back and enjoy a fire pit with their road family. It’s our way of saying thanks for playing in Moorhead and we want you to come back,” Nielsen said.