(The Backline Lounge Neighborhood Style Gathering Spot is Just One of the Features of Redmond’s High Desert Music Hall | Photos courtesy of High Desert Music Hall)
A renovated former church is setting the stage as Central Oregon’s newest arts and live entertainment venue following its transformation into the High Desert Music Hall in Redmond.
Owners Ilko Major and Cimarron Brodie — who have a background in art, music, design and event planning — worked on the project through the pandemic and hope to see the facility on Forest Avenue continue to flourish as a hub for creative expression.
Major said, “Our growth potential and outlook are good, and we are excited to have expanded in many ways already.
“We hope to continue to grow along with Redmond, while continuing to provide a diverse set of artistic, musical and communal types of events, shows and gatherings for our community.”
The 9,000-square-foot repurposed venue — which has a maximum capacity of 500 — has nine employees on board and along with the main stage focal point, features a lounge with a full bar and a 100 percent plant-based menu as well as a VIP balcony area, all of which is available for private rental.
A food pod and tap house is also now open, located in the property parking lot on the corner of SW Eighth and Glacier.
A growing number of acts are appearing, recently featuring the incredible electric guitar talents of Taj Farrant, among others as part of a busy summer line-up, and a 12-week live broadcast series, Cascades Radio, started this month.
Major added, “We are looking to combine our talents and passions to present lots of music, art, comedy, weddings, to be a hub for music, art, food, entertainment and community and just lots of good times.
“As soon as I found singing and playing the guitar in rock and roll bands, I immediately fell in love with performing music and sharing it.
“We have what I would call a mid-size venue. You can still see the audience close up and we are hoping to get some bigger names in here that want to have an intimate experience with their guests.”
The venue has a range of events booked through the summer, and has hosted regular specials such as the Dry Canyon Arts Association’s Art at the Music Hall and open mic nights.
The Backline Lounge, featuring a more intimate atmosphere, is billed as “a neighborhood-style gathering spot and lounge” that also features a smaller stage. Major said after working through numerous logistics during the pandemic, that seeing the vision come to fruition “has brought more pride than I could have ever imagined.”
Brodie added, “We felt like people needed an environment to feel more creative and more empowered to come together through art and music and more creative ways so that we can find a common denominator.
“We are also sharing our space with other businesses and offering more things that Redmond needs, and more space to pursue individual passions.”