Ignition is magical. It’s unlike any spot I’ve been to outside of a large city. It has a creative vibe, and it’s an intimate space. Music draws people closer together as a community. It broadens your horizons, and it allows people to recognize their emotions.
I feel like listening to music at Ignition is more like someone is telling you a story than performing.
We have what we consider a concert series, and we have a hard rock series with local bands. There’s really not any place for hard rock bands to play around here, and the space has an industrial feel, too. We’re here to foster relationships and give musicians a place to grow.
Our programming is eclectic. We’re trying to fill a spot in the community where we feel like, ‘Other people aren’t doing this.’
Last year was fairly devastating for us. We had about 14 shows that were postponed or canceled. We postponed everything for six months. Then we opened up to refunding if people needed them.
That was difficult to navigate, but I think we did alright with that and didn’t tick anyone off too badly. A lot of people were really kind and said, ‘If we can keep these tickets, and they’ll be good for the rescheduled show, we don’t need a refund.’
For the most part, people were so kind and understanding.
But on the sales side, vinyl was really the sustaining factor for us in the pandemic. People were staying home more and listening to music. Our sales of vinyl really helped us get through a tough time.
We are still trying to book shows we already had scheduled through November; we just decided it’s not financially responsible for us to book anything new right now.
But I’m excited about every show that we have coming up. The Steel Wheels will be back, and we have the local metal Halloween show, and then Kuf Knotz and Christine Elise — his message is so positive and she is so beautiful in so many ways. Light just shoots out of everything they do! And Fareed Haque is an amazing jazz guitar player. He’s going to play his heart out. He’ll probably be the last one to leave the building.
The one thing I kept telling myself throughout this whole thing was that we had to make it through because I knew a lot of venues weren’t. Like I said, we had retail sales to help us, but most venues did not. It’s so important for these touring acts to have a place to perform, and for us [at Ignition] to take care of them. My heart just goes out to them. We’ve probably lost more bands than we even realize at this point, but hopefully, most people have been writing throughout this time, and I want to hear the music that came from this.
We’re hoping next year will be brighter.
– Julie Hershberger co-owner, Ignition Music Garage
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Written and edited by Wendy Wilson
Original publish date April 2022
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