Voices

Look Inside: Bomb Factory Owners Are Creating Virtual Events for Any Occasion

The Bomb Factory, Canton Hall, and Trees are offering a turnkey service for virtual events complete with pyrotechnics, light shows, and the energy of live performances.

COVID-19 has moved artists such as Idina Menzel to perform from their living rooms, often with all the production value of a Zoom conference call, while concert venues including The Bomb Factory, Canton Hall, and Trees—all owned by Clint and Whitney Barlow—have largely been vacant since the pandemic forced lockdowns in March.

“We’re fortunate to be able to bring people together,” said J. Damany Daniel, Creative Director at The Bomb Factory. “Recognizing that wasn’t going to be the case for a while due to COVID, we started brainstorming about what we could do.”

The solution was to team up with Dallas-based Onstage Systems, which provides cameras and crews to capture the pyrotechnics, light shows and energy of live performances, and even corporate presentations.

“One of the challenges we were hearing from people is that there’s a lot that goes into making a virtual event,” he said. “You need the venue, and then you need to know about cameras and microphones, and then, how do I stream it? There are all these things we’re expecting people to know, but there’s no way that they could because this not a world in which they’ve lived.”

The crews working at The Bomb Factory, Canton Hall, and Trees offer a turnkey service that fills those knowledge gaps.

Aside from production value, Daniel adds, those venues carry a sense of place that cannot be matched by a living room or even sound studio. Trees, for example, was the concert hall where late Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain dove off the stage in the early 1990s and triggered a brawl that was captured on video.

Daniel said the venues are available for both concerts and corporate events, and start at about $5,000.

“One of the great things about Bomb Factory being as expansive as it is, is that we’re not limited by much of anything,” he said. “If you want to move away from doing events in virtual backgrounds, what if… we built a physical set. Let’s say your CEO wants to speak from her living room. Awesome. We will build you a living room set on the stage of the Bomb Factory, complete with a fireplace, and overstuffed chairs. You can’t create a fireside chat in your office.”

Those interested in booking an event at The Bomb Factory, Canton Hall, or Trees can contact Daniel and The Bomb Factory’s events team at [email protected]

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look

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Dave Moore has 30 years’ experience in writing, editing, reporting, and analysis. He’s traveled to Bosnia to observe efforts to boost the country’s post-Soviet economy, explored the causes of ho(...)

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