There’s a new club in town and it’s taken over the space where an iconic venue once stood. This new club is completely focused on the future—equipped with the tech needed to give artists and clients the opportunity to have a completely modern experience. The space now has the best cameras on the market to provide live streaming experiences of maximum quality, LED screens, and amazing audiovisual equipment.
The Axis Club, formerly The Mod Club, now opens its doors to new projects, but with the intention to always make history.
The reopening took place on September 9th and was a huge success. The club is now taking steps towards new achievements and we can expect many events in this completely renovated venue.
We were present at the event and had the opportunity to chat with Orin Bristol, Director of Venue Operations, who told us all about the process behind the change and the prospects for the future.
Milénio Stadium: How was The Axis Club opening?
Orin Bristol: It was excellent. It was wonderful to see live music back in effect, the crowd was excited, and the bands did an excellent job performing. It was really good. I think the most exciting part, to me at least, were the people who couldn’t come to the opening but who watched at home via the streaming service. They were able to watch the concerts, and several of them sent me pictures of them sitting in the living room with their friends and family watching the concerts. So, to me, that was very cool to see.
MS: Keeping in mind, we are still dealing with Covid-19, what are the expectations until the end of the year?
OB: I believe that once the government gets the vaccine passport in place and we have an idea on how things are supposed to operate, I believe they will allow things to move from 25% capacity to 40% or 50% capacity for a couple of months. If everything stays ok, I believe they will let the capacity be at 70% or 80% by the beginning of 2022. I’m hoping to go into the summer next year with 75% or 80% of capacity.
MS: What changed from the Mod Club to the Axis Club?
OB: Right now, we got a beautiful mirror on the wall, but the biggest change is the quality of the lights, the sound, we have a beautiful LED screen… Technology is what changed! Many people who have played at the Mod Club became massive stars – The Weeknd is one of the biggest artists in the world, and he played at the Mod Club at one point. Today is different: people consume media online first; kids are discovering new artists on Instagram or YouTube. With the pandemic for the last year and a half, people got used to watching concerts streamed online, which is normal for them. So, the biggest changes for us now is: if you have a concert here and it’s an artist that people have been following online, you can watch the show that is happening here in Toronto while you are anywhere else in the world, and you can watch it live! That’s what’s amazing! If you are a company and you are doing a concert here with an artist, and that concert becomes sold out, you can still sell tickets online, and you can not only get an extra 100 people, you can get 10,000 people watching the concert. There’s always a point in artists that are successful that they become too big for the venue, and what we have done here is thinking about making things work in case that happens. You can always expand to another level. For an artist to have the ability to reach out to people internationally if they wish because they can buy a stream for a normal fee, that is something that puts the power in the artists’ hands.
MS: At the end of the day, maybe that streaming part was something good that came out of this pandemic…
OB: I mean… yes. Of course, we wish Covid-19 never happened, but because everything was locked down, it gave us the ability to fully renovate the venue. Most concert venues are going to have to do this, and this is what the future is going to be for everybody. The ability to still work, even though your numbers are reduced, is going to be important for everybody. But while everyone is trying to make it work in their existing venue, we were able to get this venue done properly. The quality of the cameras, the quality of the stream are top-notch, and that is what we are aiming for.
MS: What type of artists can we expect at Axis?
OB: We will have various types of artists here! From rock to hip hop, R&B music, a lot of different live music. We also have other events, for example, once a month, we will have “Boys Party” having their showcase and we will have a Drag Queen show happening here as well. There’s definitely different type of things happening here. We have events that are culturally based as well. We want to bring a lot of different kinds of events to the table.
MS: Mod Club was a well-known club established in the community. Why was it also important to change its name?
OB: It was important to change the name because while Mod Club was an iconic venue, for the people who are now coming to live shows, it was their parents’ venue. I remember when I interviewed some people here, who were coming for a job, they told me that when they told their parents they were coming to apply to work here, their parents said they had met here (laughs). This is now a brand-new venue, and it’s not your parents’ Mod Club anymore. It’s your Axis.
MS: Why “Axis”?
OB: I don’t really want to speak for Manuel because the name was already in existence when I came on to this team. But what I would say to you is that when I saw that name, is that it gives people “access” and “axis” as a turning point. Axis can be “access”. I’m giving you “access” to this venue, to all these concerts and events.
Transcrição: Catarina Balça