With live music and hard hats decorated with guitar cutouts, state and business dignitaries broke ground on the new Infinity Hall on Front Street.
“It is our plan to play a significant role in building our community by bringing people together to appreciate and enjoy a wide variety of great music,” said Infinity owner Dan Hincks during the program. “We hope that this helps to serve as a catalyst, and furthers Hartford’s renaissance.”
The event had roughly 100 attendees, from local business representatives to legislators and investors. Governor Malloy and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra were also on hand to give remarks and toss a shovel’s worth of gravel.
Infinity Hall launched as a music venue and bistro five years ago in Norfolk. Since then the venue has caught steam and produced roughly 250 music shows a year, and spawned the CPTV series “Infinity Hall Live.” Hincks says he wants to replicate those numbers in Hartford.
“There are just a ton of great acts out there that will be great for this venue size. We’re not going to have any problem finding enough great music.” Hincks said after the groundbreaking.
Infinity Hall in Norfolk draws many established artists from across the “Roots Music” genres: Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, and Americana. They also bring in the occasional soul or gospel act, and plenty of classic rock. Highlights of their upcoming calendar include Amy Helm, 10,000 Maniacs, Ana Popovic, Todd Rundgren, Rubblebucket, and Peter Tork. (click here for their upcoming concert calendar)
“Hartford is great, it has a lot of great arts. There’s a broad spectrum of music that isn’t represented in the Hartford area. It wasn’t when I first came up with the idea [for Infinity Hall five years ago], and it still isn’t. That’s exactly the kind of thing we’re doing in Norfolk, but I expect an even broader diversity of music for here in Hartford.”
Hartford proper is home to several music venues, all of different stripes. In addition to the slew of small stages at downtown bars, the Webster Theatre and the Webster Underground in the south end usually see hardcore, metal, and punk acts. The Front Street area has been home to the nearby Arch Street Tavern for years, with their bigger performers being of a more indie rock vein (like The Hold Steady and Dinosaur Jr).
Black Eyed Sally’s would be the most similar in terms of musical style, though their capacity is far less than the new 500 seat Infinity Hall will be.
Jonathan Edwards, a fairly frequent performer at the Norfolk location, became the first act at the Hartford venue during the groundbreaking ceremony. He performed “Sunshine” and an acappella version of “This Island Earth.” Like everyone at the event, he has high hopes for the community building potential of the new venue.
I think it will be huge. There seems to be plenty of parking, that’s important, and this venue’s going to be wonderful,” Edwards said. “It’s very rare these days to encounter a venue that’s built just for performance.”
“In this age of dwindling resources it’s so wonderful to see and be a part of.”