Initial Planning Stages - Future Dates TBA. Destination - Downtown Kenosha WI
Five years ago, Duane Charles opened the GiGhive, Inc. offices (now known as 616 Music Venue at 616 58th St.) in the heart of Downtown Kenosha, a few blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan and Southport Marina.
Since then, much of the area has been completely revitalized, growing from a quiet whisper to a buzz of exciting cultural and social activity which has turned the once empty streets of an old business district into a vibrant entertainment community. Downtown is now bustling with the sounds of music and filled with energetic crowds attending fun-filled events that are scheduled throughout the summer months and into the winter. These include the annual car show, Second Saturday, Peanut Butter and Jam Concert Series, Taste of Wisconsin, Craft Beer Week’s annual block party, Snow Daze, Restaurant Week and Fall Festival, among others.
Charles took a special interest in one particular event that literally took place in his backyard. Francisco Loyal, Executive Director of Kenosha Creative Space, approached him about using the parking area behind 616 Music Venue (just one of the businesses that shares the area) for a future street festival and alleyway bazaar which would double as a fundraising event. Charles agreed to help Loyal, even supplying electricity from his building grid to help power the event.
Amazed at the end result, Charles was inspired to create and host his own summer events in the same manner. He had some initial concerns about the use of the space once crowds started filling the area – including the cross section from 6th Ave. to 7th Ave. Those doubts were erased this past fall when the parking garage on 57th St. was demolished, creating an open space all the way to 56th St. Once Charles was able to walk the open space in its entirety, he began thinking about its great potential as a live outdoor performance grounds. He started to imagine the possibilities of bringing the best 50 indie acts connected to GiGhive from all over the United States together in Kenosha for one massive event.
Charles says, “Once I get a thought in my head, I always run with it until it becomes a reality.” Stay tuned to this page for updates!