Nothing lasts forever — whether an opera or an underground Ukrainian rave, every good show ends. This week, the Outpost, a pop-up venue at 109 West Anderson Avenue, will join the hallowed ranks of retired performance spaces.
The Outpost opened in November of last year with a concert by folk-pop Alabama duo “Firekid."
Since then, a myriad of local artists have graced the Outpost, including classic rock group “Josiah and the Greater Good," songwriter John Paul White and electronic duo “more more more."
As a pop-up venue, the Outpost never intended to stick around for more than a few months.
Born and Raised Productions, the Knoxville-based promotional company that partnered with the Abridged Beer Company to create the Outpost, took on the project as an experiment.
Garrett Thomson, manager of Born and Raised Productions, is no stranger to unconventional shows. Prior to creating the Outpost, Thomson and the B&R team produced a number of “secret” concerts at locations throughout Knoxville.
For Thomson, though, the goal has always been to establish a permanent concert space.
“We have worked for over a year on a business plan and performances around different models and (the Outpost) was the perfect opportunity to test our ideas and see how viable our plans were. We learned so much from this and ultimately learned that we can do this,” Thomson said.
Part of that learning process, Thomson reflects, involved significant challenges -- many of which were inherent to a pop-up venue.
“We had to get creative on how to build staging, run sound, pay for permanent things in a building that we only had for 6 months,” Thomson said.
That creativity seems to have paid off. Since its inception, the Outpost has attracted a diverse crowd of performers and audiences. The final performances to be hosted at the Outpost will feature artists both familiar and not.
On Thursday, the “Thrift Store Cowboys” will play a set along with “Red Shahan," and Friday will see a performance from soft electronic group “Peak Physique," accompanied by a returning act, “more more more."
Jonathan Sexton, one half of the “more more more” project (the other fifty percent being producer Stewart Pack), expressed his eagerness to return to the Outpost.
“It is by far our favorite room to play in Knoxville because it's a true venue, where people go to watch music, as opposed to being a bar that happens to have music in the background.”
Sexton is grateful to B&R Productions as well as Abridged Beer Company for creating such a space.
“There is a genuine respect for the artistry there, and that starts with the founders, Garrett and Kent (Oglesby). They put the music first and that can really be felt in the entire Outpost experience,” Sexton said.
As Born and Raised continues to feature the music of artists in Knoxville, Thomson hopes to further encourage musical patronage.
“The amount of love and support this city has for music is truly moving, and we want to let everyone know we greatly appreciate that. This city needs more spaces for music and every night I spent at the Outpost, it became more and more (apparent),” Thomson said.
With the Outpost project wrapping up, Thomson also plans on creating a more permanent venue.
“Our focus is being around for the long haul in Knoxville's music scene,” Thomson said.
On Saturday, the Outpost’s culminating show will feature “Guy Marshall” and their new album, “West Virginia," which debuted in February.
While this week will mark the end of the Outpost, it will also denote the beginning of a new stage of development for Born and Raised Productions — and for Knoxville’s musical climate entire.