Wave opens this Saturday, Sept. 1, with a concert from alternative rock veterans Toadies (local act The T*ts will open). The venue, at 650 E. 2nd Street North, is the city's first large-scale open-air concert venue, but will also host indoor shows and provide a beer garden and food truck court. Upcoming shows include funk master George Clinton, electric guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson and deathcore act Whitechapel.
The venue's management team recently spoke with KMUW about the space and Saturday's debut.
On the goals of Wave:
Adam Hartke: Just to have a place where we can do outdoor shows in Wichita on a more frequent basis, somewhere where we don't have to set up a temporary space. Something that's more permanent.
We have an indoor capacity of 500 people. General Admission, standing room and then we have an outdoor capacity of about 4000 people, standing room. We can do lots of different variations of shows. We can do smaller, more intimate shows inside. We can do big outdoor concerts. We can do smaller festival-type things where we have an outdoor stage going and an indoor stage going simultaneously.
It's also going to be kind of a backyard hangout on nights we're not having shows. We'll have fire pits set up and picnic tables and food trucks. We'll have a 20 beer garden and all kinds of fun accoutrements. Fun things to do while we're not having concerts.
On getting ready for opening weekend:
Jessie Hartke: I help make sure that Adam doesn't forget details. I've gotten used to these situations that Adam will drag me into and I just know that everything is going to be unexpected, so I go in with a pretty open mind.
In order to be ready for this weekend, we're pretty much there. We need to hang some artwork in the green rooms, finish up just a little bit in the bars, but we are more than where we need to be at this point.
Getting the team together:
Madeline Goseland: I do staffing and management for Wave. I met Adam over a year and a half ago. We've done three festivals together now through my production business, so we've been contracting together, working together, and when Wave started coming about, I reached out to Jared and Adam and said, ‘Hey, I'd be interested in working with you guys.' Me and Adam got together later that week and decided to party together. [My job] entails making sure that we have enough people to serve the people that we are bringing in. And, also, making sure that all the bases are covered. Picking up anything else that might drop on the floor.
On Wave becoming a reality:
Jared Parson: I am helping run Wave. I basically do a lot of what Adam doesn't want to and what I don't want to do, I guess I give to Madeline. It's obviously getting really serious now. It's actually happening. It's pretty surreal. It's a bit of a dream position to be in to bring so much great entertainment and music to Wichita and to bring some more excitement and culture downtown.
We're really open to all sorts of options and ideas. I think we actually just got an email from somebody who wants to do a quinceañera. It's a fun advantage of doing all-ages. It's a big spot where everybody can come together and have a good time."
It's cool to be in a position where you can introduce people to new things and they actually pay attention.