Bored with the same old venues for your meetings? Try these live performance spaces on for size. Each one can accommodate small or large groups-and add creative flair to your event.
AT&T Performing Arts Center // Dallas
Nestled in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, the AT&T Performing Arts Center sits on 10 acres of prime downtown real estate and hosts a variety of programs including the Lexus Broadway Series, contemporary dance and music and other touring and community performances. It is also home to The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater and the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico.
The center boasts a public park, as well as three venues available for events: The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre and the Annette Strauss Square.
The center offers a variety of spaces, including the main stage, private balconies and areas in the lobbies of all three venues. "We have spaces that can accommodate groups as large as 400 people and as small as 30," says Logan Smith, rental sales manager.
The center exclusively partners with Wolfgang Puck Catering for its catering services, so the food and beverages are top-notch. Stacie Whitley of Great Investors’ Best Ideas Foundation, a nonprofit organization, holds an annual investment event at the Winspear Opera House that benefits the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation. "There’s such an appeal of a beautiful, magical place," Whitley says. "From the modern, contemporary exterior to the traditional, European performance hall with phenomenal acoustics, we love holding events here."
The Granada Theater // Dallas
The Granada Theater, voted Best Live Music Venue 2007 through 2012 by the Dallas Observer, is a 1946 art deco treasure built for the film era. It is now used as a live music venue with more than 200 live performances each year.
The Granada can accommodate up to 1,000 guests or groups as small as 50. The floor plan of the Granada is completely flexible, as nothing is bolted to the floor. Not only is this space used for corporate events, parties and meetings, but it also has been host to fashion shows complete with stunning runways, lighting and elaborate music systems.
"There are many advantages to booking events at the historic Granada Theater," says Kylee O’Neill Kimosh, private events and sponsorship coordinator. "Granada provides a full-service bar and in-house catering from Sundown at Granada, which prides itself on providing healthy, fresh, seasonal options crafted by renowned chef Patrick Stark. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of booking with us is our booking department has access to both local and national talent."
The Austin Music Hall // Austin
In the heart of Austin and its bustling music scene is the Austin Music Hall. A flexible event space, the music hall "is known for its concerts and private events," says Jason Hicks, general manager.
The music hall was built in the early 1990s and has recently been completely overhauled with a fresh, new design and top-of-the-line acoustics.
The space can accommodate up to 3,600 guests for standing-room-only events or 1,800 seated. For banquets, it can seat 2,000. "We work the space creatively to make it feel intimate," Hicks says.
Stubb’s Bar-B-Q // Austin
Another option for your next event is Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin. Famous, obviously, for its barbecue, Stubb’s restaurant is connected to an amphitheater that can accommodate 2,100 guests. "The space can be utilized for private events, such as galas, live concerts, weddings, chili cook-offs and carnivals," says Sarah Thevenot, special events and catering manager.
In addition to the amphitheater, there is also a small indoor stage known as Stubb’s Jr. and a restaurant that can hold 325. Events can be held for groups as small as 10 and as large as 2,000.
Stubb’s is also the official hub for Austin’s SXSW, so if your goal is to be in the middle of the Austin music scene, check it out.
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion // The Woodlands
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that is the epicenter of a variety of performing arts events, educational outreach programs and contemporary entertainment. In the summer, the pavilion hosts the Houston Symphony and Houston Ballet.
According to Pollstar magazine, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was named the second most popular amphitheater in the world in 2012. "The two event spaces in the Pavilion-the House of Blues Hospitality Tent and the Woodforest Bank Club-have this great amphitheater as the backdrop for any event," says Sandra Bell, senior sales executive.
The 1,600-square-foot Woodforest Bank Club is an upscale space that brings the outdoors in. The club is air-conditioned, has an adjoining outdoor patio and is perfect for business meetings and corporate events for up to 100 guests.
The House of Blues Hospitality Tent is 6,000 square feet with an eclectic New Orleans feel and can accommodate up to 300 guests. It is available for dinners, lunches, business meetings and other special events. The tent is open year-round and during performances at the pavilion.