The Garage


The Garage music venue and recording studio in Burnsville. Photo by Lauren Leaseburg.

Lauren Leaseburg, Staff Writer

  The Garage is a non-profit, all ages music venue and recording studio located in Burnsville that provides opportunities for musicians and fans alike. The Twin Cities is a nationally known center for music, but The Garage’s Executive Director, Jack Kolb-Williams said that there are not a lot of opportunities for young people to go to shows. “There’s restrictions on age which is baffling to me.”
  Growing up in Wisconsin, Kolb-Williams never experienced anything like this. Wayzata Alumni and frontman of Love Sequence, Bobby Rethwisch said he likes the garage because “they keep everything all ages, especially since most places like to make their shows 18+.”
  Young people keep the music scene alive. The Garage offers a safe space for these people to come as they are and have fun without the temptation of drugs or alcohol. Kolb-Williams said, “We know it can be tough, especially in high school and things may not be the easiest, but music breaks down a lot. You don’t have to worry about it.”
  The Garage hosts international and national acts across a multitude of genres, but they also have a huge focus on local musicians.
  Kolb- Williams said, all ages venues like The Garage give younger musicians the opportunities to learn how to play on stage, control a crowd, sell their merch, market themselves, and be professional, so when they’re ready to tour their “levels ahead of everybody else.”
  “This is not the normal anywhere else in the country,” said Kolb-Williams.
  Local musician Jared Zukauska said “[The Garage] wants [the bands] to succeed when [they’re] playing, and they want [the musicians] to see what it’s like to live out [their] dreams.”
  Kolb-Williams stated that being able to experience that feeling of successfully executing what a musician worked so hard to do is a big deal for The Garage. The staff “try to make that as best of an experience for those folks as possible.”
  The Garage also recently built a 2000 square foot recording studio in the back of the venue.
  Kolb-Williams said, “Having a studio in the same building as a venue is virtually unheard of so that’s another cool thing that makes the garage nationally unique.” Bands can record video and music, and participate in live studio sessions.
  Kolb-Williams said, “sometimes video shoots and recording sessions can be really cost prohibited. Its expensive and it’s not easy to do.” The Garage’s studio sessions are crowdfunded by the ticket sales. By providing the resources and eliminating the cost, bands just have to “tell their friends and family and their fans and show up,” and The Garage takes care of the rest. Kolb-Williams said, “They walk away with this content that they can use to help promote themselves, book shows, book tours, shop around at labels, management, or agencies.”
  The studio helps musicians build themselves and their brand, and allows the audience to experience something unique from their favorite musicians.
  For those that aren’t performers, but want to get involved, there are a ton of opportunities available. People can volunteer or do internships for things like sound engineering,
sound production, writing, photography, and booking shows.
  “It’s whatever you wanna make it,” said Kolb-Williams, “it’s a really good opportunity for people thinking about what “they’re gonna do after high school. Use those internships and stuff as opportunities to learn about what other options are out there. Everyone that is here started as a volunteer. Everyone has an opportunity to build and grow and see what it turns into.”