Can people come and be in the studio audience? Yes, absolutely!
Our listening events are all about honoring the stage — not sticking it in the corner and talking over it, or using it as an add-on to get you through the door to sell you drinks and food. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that; it’s just not what we do.
If you’re looking for a loud bar scene (and it’s totally fine if you are), we recommend checking out the local bars. If you’re looking for a big schmancy venue, there are a handful in driving distance. We’re not either of those. We’re just good folks doing this one fine thing.
We can’t serve alcohol without hiring a caterer, which we can’t afford. We don’t qualify for the libraries-and-galleries wine-and-beer legal loophole. BYOB isn’t allowed. If you absolutely have to get your drink on, you’ll be disappointed.
We typically have an assortment of self-serve snacks and non-alcoholic drinks available by donation.
The listening events are intimate and informal. Seating is limited to 40 fairly nice but unpadded folding chairs — first come, first served. After that there’s standing room. It’s OK to bring your own chair, as long as you take it back home with you when you leave.
Admission is usually by suggested donation, and the amount varies. Some listening events are ticketed. The sessions usually aren’t a good environment for squalling babies, ADHD youngsters, or disruptive adults.
Cell phones off, pop a lozenge if you’ve got a cough, no talking or clinking during performance. Applaud like crazy though, cheer a great solo, laugh heartily at a good joke. Heckle if it seems appropriate (though it rarely is unless we’ve got a comedian up there).
Honor the stage.
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33 Bridge Street is a creative economy incubator that’s locally owned and operated by The Island Corporation. The ADA-compliant building also houses the studios of a couple glassblowers, a couple painters, a photographer, a soapmaker, and other fine artists and craftspeople. Fragrance allergy note: a little scent may waft if the small-batch, cold-process artisan soapmaker is in production. It’s pleasant for most of us, but we did receive a comment from an MCS sufferer that they had a minor, manageable reaction.
If you haven’t been here before, 33 Bridge Street in Bellows Falls is a couple blocks toward the river from the intersection of Flat Iron Exchange coffeehouse and Popolo restaurant, which is the only intersection in downtown… and it’s a T so there’s no way to take a wrong turn. Brick building on the right after the post office and over the short bridge. Look for the giant sheep-head logos in the corner windows; that’s the community radio station, WOOL-FM. We’ll also have a sign out front. The most reliable parking is in the free lot on the left — across the street from us, next to the canal.