Fairfield Theatre Company Celebrates The Warehouse's First Anniversary

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Since opening, The Warehouse has held over 75 events and concerts, bringing 30,000 visitors and an additional $750,000 in small business revenue to Fairfield, Conn.

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The Fairfield Theatre Company has a lot to celebrate. A year ago, the dream of creating a world-class performing arts center in the beautiful town of Fairfield became a reality. The Warehouse, once a machine shop that sat unused for years, was transformed into a state-of-the-art performance venue. More than 30,000 people experienced the magic of live music, theatre, dance, comedy, film and numerous other events in The Warehouse during this past year.

The 640-capacity venue first opened its doors on Sept. 17, 2015. Since then, over 75 events have been held in the space with 34 percent of concerts sold to capacity. The direct economic impact the venue makes on the local community is substantial. Based upon research from Americans for the Arts, every ticket buyer spends approximately $25 in surrounding businesses when attending a show. This equates to an additional $750,000 in direct spending at surrounding businesses by FTC patrons.

Local restaurants are reaping the benefits of big-name artists coming into town. Robbie Cooper, general manager of Brick + Wood, is ecstatic with their dinner, late-night and pizza truck turnout. “We know that extra staff is needed for dinner and the bar on any given night when there is a show in The Warehouse,” Cooper said. “People that come in are always excited for a big night on the town and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to fill the restaurant with concert-goers. We truly love working with the amazing team at FTC."

The Warehouse has rapidly become a Northeast destination. “We’re excited about our partnership with the Fairfield Theatre Company precisely because a venue like The Warehouse has quickly become an essential cultural and artistic hub in the town,” Matt Powers, general manager of Uber Connecticut, said. “The Warehouse has proved itself to be a popular destination among riders, and our partnership with FTC helps ensure that patrons can enjoy an affordable, seamless experience to get to and from their show.”

Just a year ago, The Warehouse opened its doors with a high-energy, sold-out performance by Rusted Root. Since opening night, there have been 58 live music concerts from some of the most popular artists in the country. Past artists include Blue Öyster Cult, The Revivalists, Tom Tom Club, Leon Russell, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Lone Bellow, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, David Cook, Trevor Hall, Jason Mraz, The Samples, Yonder Mountain String Band, Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Donavon Frankenreiter. In addition to live music, The Warehouse has become the go-to venue for film, theatre, cultural events, private events and nonprofit fundraisers.

The FTC team of professional staff, volunteers and supporters has grown significantly to keep up with the demanding pace of productions. “The programming has increased to the point where we often host events in both venues simultaneously,” FTC Producing Artistic Director John Reid said. “Without the hard work of our staff, board members, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, this would be an impossible feat. This dedicated team is truly committed to making The Warehouse and StageOne the premier destinations for the arts in our region.”

As FTC celebrates the first anniversary of The Warehouse, plans are underway to complete the final phase of the vision of what has become a cultural hub in downtown Fairfield. This includes increasing the number of dressing rooms and expanding the green room to create a more welcoming and usable space for performing artists, relocating and refurbishing staff offices and creating rehearsal studios to support the ongoing educational efforts such as FTC’s Saturday Morning Kids program.

It has been a successful first year for The Warehouse, and The Fairfield Theatre Company looks forward to a bright future of preserving and promoting artistic and cultural expression in the community. In the words of ol’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra, “the best is yet to come.”

About Fairfield Theatre Company:
Fairfield Theatre Company is a highly-acclaimed nonprofit performing arts organization located in the heart of downtown Fairfield. FTC presents over 300 concerts and events each year featuring outstanding national talent at FTC’s StageOne and at The Warehouse. FTC’s venues are widely recognized as being the best places to see live performances in the region. FTC’s mission is to connect and enrich our community through the transforming power of the arts.

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Alex Toombs
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