Editor in Chief
“Let’s start a bar.” It is a thought that many college students have across the country, but very few see their dreams come true. Hobart alumni Ian Pattison ’16, Nick LaChance ’16 and Scott Heffner ’16 accomplished that dream in August when they opened Geneva’s newest music venue: FLX Live. What began as an idea for just another bar downtown morphed into the music venue and events space that now stands on Exchange Street.
It all began when they decided: “if anybody could do an amazing bar in this town it would be us.” Banking on their knowledge of the students and the town to allow them to create a unique and popular bar according to Pattison. During their market research they realized, however, that Geneva did not need another bar to add to the over 50 establishments with liquor licenses in the city. Geneva needed a space for live music.
After a difficult negotiation process, the trio found a location, and Heffner began drawing up designs for their new space. The goal was to tailor the space to be practical for a variety of genres, and appealing to the three groups that go out in Geneva: local residents, students and tourists.
FLX Live slotted neatly into the niche of a medium sized music venue, creating a space for groups who would draw more than the 100-person capacity of most other music venues, but could not fill the 2,000 seat Smith Center for the Performing Arts.
Pattison notes that FLX Live would not have been possible when he first came to Geneva as a freshman, but with the consistent development and expansion of the downtown area and presence of tourists the future is bright.
When looking for artists FLX Live relies on their musical director Matt Elkin to help find groups that are generally “danceable” according to Pattison, adding that does not limit them to pop and EDM, as bluegrass and funk are also crowd pleasers. To find what people like FLX Live still takes risks. They recently hosted a metal show that struggled fill the room. Students enjoy the variety frequently commenting on how the night’s music expanded what they would typically listen to when going out on the town.
The trio works hard to draw in a variety of patrons, and as the business expands it is capable of reaching a greater number of customers from a greater area of the Finger Lakes. Expecting to only reach people within 20 miles, the venue is already beginning to draw people from more distant cities like Ithaca, Syracuse and Rochester who hear about FLX Live through word of mouth in their hometowns. To enable hosting earlier more mellow shows and weekday events, FLX Live plans to begin offering food within the next two weeks. Food will bring an end to the decision between music and dinner that has stifled early shows since opening, and allow it to offer shows on Wednesday nights.
As alumni the founders work to continue a relationship with the student body and student organizations through hosting charity events, formals and other events for student groups. Most recently FLX Live hosted a Student Showcase last Thursday featuring student bands: Saint Clair, Disassembly and Jeans in the Pool.
FLX Live currently opens its doors Thursday through Saturday nights (with a variable cover charge to pay the band fees) with a different band each night.