A state-of-the art performance space is openieng it's doors soon!

It's called The Vogel and this is a brand new addition to The Count Basie Center for the Arts. I can't wait to find out which acts will be performing here!

After years in the making, this brand new venue is a second performance space on the grounds of The Basie's historic theater at 99 Monmouth Street.

It is so exciting to have watched this venue being built. It is a stunning improvement and expansion that revitalizes the entire Basie block.

Since the governor is allowing indoor venues to operate at limited capacity, The Basie has announced that The Vogel will begin hosting performances by mid-October.

The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie Center
The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie Center

Keep in mind, though, that The Basie is a non-profit organization that has been working hard to overcome the hardships of having been closed for 7 months due to the pandemic. We all have been holding our collective breath and hoping that Covid-19 wouldn't kill the performing arts or force theaters and other venues to close permanently.

Now The Vogel will be one way to bring in revenue to support The Basie while providing entertainment to so many of us who have sorely missed it. But it must still be stressed that The Basie needs financial support to stay afloat after Covid-19 led to months of cancelled shows and lost revenue.

The Basie, undaunted, continues to fulfill it's mission: ‘Inspire, Educate and Entertain.’ Their Academy of the Arts has been able to remain active in teaching children to perform in several disciplines both virtually and in summer camps.

The concept for The Vogel has been in the planning and construction stages for a total of four years. It started with a vision of how a new performance space might complement the original, historic Basie theater. It is named for area philanthropists Anne and Sheldon Vogel in recognition of their support of the Count Basie Center for the Arts.

The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie Center
The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie Center

Cool fact about Sheldon Vogel: His career with Atlantic Records is the stuff of music business legend. He was hired by the founder of Atlantic Records and traveled the world overseeing finances as the famous record label signed Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, and many more legendary artists.

As for 94.3 The Point's involvement, when we last did our annual Day of Giving  broadcast from The Basie lobby (Nov. 2019) construction was moving swiftly and The Vogel was projected to open it's doors by this past spring -- that is, until we were hit with a global pandemic.

That's when The Basie was forced to come up with a creative new plan for providing entertainment and they switched gears to spend the summer holding drive-in and outdoor supper club performances at Monmouth Park for over 30,000 audience members. That put The Basie ahead of the pack in perfecting ways to producing safe, socially-distanced concert events with invaluable experience on how to approach live events properly.

Now it’s time for The Vogel to open its doors.  A nearly 20,000 sq. ft. balconied, 2-level performance space (and just one part of the Basie's total expansion) will finally make its debut to the general public even though it was completed earlier this year.

Though limited to seated, socially distanced events of 150 patrons for the immediate future, The Vogel was built to accommodate both standing and seated audiences, with the goal of hosting everything from cabaret-style jazz performances to up-and coming artists and comedians. This venue will also host performances from Basie Center Academy students and students at the Basie’s Monmouth Conservatory of Music.

The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie
The Vogel, Photo courtesy of The Basie

Post-COVID, The Vogel can accommodate up to 800 persons standing! The Vogel’s first performances will be announced shortly.

Here are the strict social distancing measures that are in place to ensure the safety of employees, volunteers, performers, and patrons.:

• Initial shows will be seated, with tables sold in “Table For Two,” “Table For Four” and “Table For Six” configurations only.

• Tables will be positioned 6’ apart, with the front row of tables 12’ from the performers.

• Only 150 seats will be available for performances at this time.

• Drinks and concessions will be sold tableside; i.e.: no lining up at bars.

• Patrons must wear masks at all times while inside The Vogel, with exception to eating or drinking.

• Patrons will be expected to abide by social distancing norms while attending events at The Vogel.

• Temperatures will be taken at the door. Patrons with a body temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to enter. A refund will be issued.

• Fans must remain seated at their purchased table.

• For nights with two shows, entry for the second show will begin once the previous crowd is cleared and the venue is cleaned / sanitized.

• Restrooms will be limited to two (2) patrons at a time.

• Tables will not be permitted to be split and resold. Patrons holding resold tickets will be denied entry and refunds will not be offered.

• Events at The Vogel will utilize Ticketmaster’s touch-less, mobile entry system. No paper tickets will be accepted.

• Patrons will be required to remain seated, unless getting up to leave or use restrooms.

• Venue security will enforce ground rules, which will follow current CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines for indoor events.

For more info on The Vogel at The Basie Center, CLICK HERE.

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