The sound of music will not only get louder in the Dallas Design District, but also a lot clearer and crisper. All thanks to Live Nation Entertainment's newest music venture: The HiFi will be a two-story, 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art concert venue that can seat up to 1,000 fans to showcase both touring and local musicians as they climb the ladder of musical stardom.
The venue, located on North Stemmons Freeway on the same stretch of land owned by Mark Cuban next to the Dallas Mavericks headquarters, is under construction and scheduled to open in mid-May, according to Live Nation officials.
The HiFi has been in development for the last two years, with construction having started on the empty warehouse at the end of May 2019. The final product will feature a slick black-and-white exterior, an immersive sound system, a concert hall with an open floor surrounded by sound-enhanced walls and floors, and a special VIP area and lounge on the second floor. The HiFi also has an outdoor patio.
"If you look at what we have in Dallas, you've got the 400-seat capacity Cambridge Room within the House of Blues, then the House of Blues at 1,700," says Ben Weeden, the chief operating officer for clubs and theaters for Live Nation. "We also work at the South Side Ballroom, which is about 3,000-plus and the Toyota Music Factory and all the major markets. We want to have the developmental ladder so we're just missing the 1,000 cap room."
The venue will cater to a wide variety of musical tastes and will host live speaker series and comedy shows during its initial run. Weeden says the opening schedule for the venue's operation hasn't been released yet, but they aim to stage around 250 public and private shows per year once it opens.
The entire venue has been designed with the fans in mind. Supporting posts are thinner than usual so they don't block views of the stage. The main stage floor is open so crowds can dance, head-bang or just sway to the sounds of the music without accidentally elbowing their neighbor. The speaker system and the sound-containing design of the construction produce a clear sound that projects from the stage to the farthest corners of the building.
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"There's a lot of glass here so we have to temper all the glass and make sure that nothing is bouncing, but that's what we do every day," Weeden says. "When you come in here, you see all the different types of wood that we have for the acoustical treatment but also couple that with the design elements of looking good. We wanted there to be an 'Oh, wow' moment when you come in."
The HiFi also fills a gap in Live Nation's series of venues that Weeden says will help new acts grow into top-tier artists and performers for bigger venues like the House of Blues and Toyota Music Factory.
"We develop bands that move on up to our other divisions to take care of them at the bigger levels," Weeden says. "We invest a significant amount of money, obviously, in the venues, but also in the bands, because that's what we do with marketing and touring. We'd like to think we add value. Music is the most important, obviously, but we want to be there as a partner from the beginning."