The downtown nightclub’s goal is to showcase ‘every genre of music’ and ‘do a little bit of everything.’ Learn more about this iconic venue, take a video tour and browse a photo gallery.
This content is sponsored by The Intersection.
Address: 133 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids
Box Office Hours: 2-6 p.m. Monday – Friday
Contact: (616) 451-8232
Booking inquiries: email@example.com
Walking into The Intersection before a concert feels like boarding a vessel where all hands are on deck. The large concert space is nearly empty, but those in the room are hard at work loading in heavy gear, prepping the bar, testing stage lights and checking sound. There’s a rhythm to all the preparation.
“I get to build a concert for a different audience and for different people’s happiness and enjoyment every day,” says Jeff Napolitano, a merchandise coordinator.
“Another unique feature is that we have two venues, so I’m able to work two completely different concerts at the same time. There is just so much going on all the time, it keeps us busy and keeps Grand Rapids happy.”
As the godfather of Grand Rapids’ music venues, The Intersection has hosted national and local acts covering a diverse range of genres for an amazing 45 years while attracting huge audiences. Indeed, for 2016, The Intersection was named among the Top 25 venues for ticket sales in the world, according to Pollstar Magazine. The venue ended the year at No. 22, with 114,656 concert tickets sold.
The Intersection is actually two performance venues in one: The Stache in the front lounge with a capacity of 400 people, and the main showroom, a large concert hall that can host 1,500.
“The production isn’t completely the same, but in both rooms we still book the same variety of genres,” said Scott Hammontree, general manager of The Intersection.
“There are EDM shows, hip-hop shows, country shows, metal shows, pop-rock shows. You can see every genre of music here. We do a little bit of everything. The crowd kind of sets the tone of the room, and we never want to lose that appeal.”
The Stache, just inside the front doors, hosts 100 shows a year on its triangular stage – an intimate space that gives many national acts a chance to play in front of exuberant, sold-out crowds, with a bevy of local artists enjoying the cozy atmosphere.
Just around the corner, a black curtain gives way to the cavernous showroom which books more than 200 shows a year. The large stage is flanked by a brand new 22-by-8-foot LED wall and a canopy of high-end stage lights. With a main bar at the back of the room and two smaller bars on either side, the showroom also boasts elevated seating along the walls and high tables in the back, with plenty of standing room in front of the stage for enthusiastic fans and dancers.
The Intersection continues to evolve. It recently announced that it will convert the lower level of the existing building into to two new live music venue spaces. One will have a capacity of 200 and will boast the ambiance of a VIP-style nightclub. The other, with a capacity of 800, “will offer the same variety of events currently offered” upstairs. The Intersection aims for a fall opening.
And outdoors, The Intersection hosts occasional “Rock the Lot” concerts in its adjoining parking lot during the summer.
“Grand Rapids has been amazing,” Hammontree said. “If the town keeps growing like it is, we’ll be right there growing with it.”
The Intersection books a staggering array of genres. Notable alumni include Snoop Dogg, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Fall Out Boy, G-Eazy, Bassnectar, Griz, Pretty Lights, The Avett Brothers, Slash, Umphrey’s McGee, Sturgill Simpson and many more.
“Everybody comes through and says it’s the best night of the tour,” sound engineer Ian Kettle said. “Load-in is easy, the sound rig is awesome, the monitor rig is awesome, the lights are great. We’re on all cylinders right now. It’s pretty fantastic.”
At the same time, The Intersection is invested in the local music scene, showcasing regional acts every week. The venue also is home to community radio station WYCE-FM’s annual awards show, The Jammies, boasting an all-star West Michigan roster in February.
VIDEO: THE INTERSECTION (By David Specht, Local Spins)
Ice Nine Kills (May 1), Kehlani (May 8), T.I. (May 15), Lil Uzi Vert (May 17), Chase Rice (May 19, ‘Rock the Lot’ show), The Story so Far (May 19), SoMo (May 20), Tall Heights (May 23), Watching for Foxes (May 27). Complete schedule online at sectionlive.com.
PHOTO GALLERY: THE INTERSECTION
Copyright 2017, Spins on Music LLC