CODA is a new music venue based in the middle of Covington’s new Music & Arts district called MADLANDS. All genres of music are welcome. CODA is bound to become a gathering place for musicians and music fans alike. The main stage at CODA presents patrons with an intimate setting to watch concerts as well as an outdoor deck and bar to just hang with friends. CODA will be hosting National and Local acts and will be focusing on creating a positive experience for all of the bands performing as well as the music lovers in attendance.
We sat down with Frank Hulefeld of CODA. If you don't know Frank, it's possible you may have never left your house. He opened his first club, RADIODOWN, back in 2003 at the age of 24. Frank worked for LiveNation in 2004-2005 booking Bogarts, Topcats, and 20th Century Theater. He also opened MADHATTER in 2005-2011 and then in went to work for Madison Theater as the main talent buyer through 2013. In the summer of 2013 Frank formed ANTHEM PROJECT PRODUCTIONS, his current company. Frank books bands for Madison Theater, Backstage Cafe, Old Towne Tavern, and now CODA!
Tell us about what the CODA experience will be like...
At CODA we are trying to create a very laid back, inviting atmosphere that everyone enjoys. I want metalheads and punk rockers to have just as much fun as indie kids and the hip hop crowd. CODA will have a top of the line sound system and a staff that is passionate about music. The main room at CODA holds 400 people and we have an outdoor deck that holds another 100 people. CODA will offer a diverse lineup of music featuring all different genres, both local and national acts.
Who are some bands you are especially excited to have booked for the opening weekend?
On the opening weekend I am excited to hear the first touring band we are hosting at the club: a young band off Victory Records called The Bunny the Bear. They are making a lot of noise on the national scene. We have some really great young Cincy bands opening up the show. Of the local acts I'm most excited to see Ocean Grid perform that night. They are a very talented young heavy band that brings a ton of energy to the stage. on Friday night, I'm super excited to see Common Center. They are a great indie rock band with some jam band elements as well as a saxophone player! They always play really strong sets. We are all just so lucky to be a part of such a strong, diverse music scene here in Cincy. CODA will definitely reflect the diverse acts in our scene.
I keep hearing about Covington’s new Music & Arts district called MADLANDS, can you let everyone know just what this is going to entail?
All I can really say about MADLANDS at this time is that it's a new arts and music district in Covington that is really going to become a major force in the scene. It will revolve around 7 different music venues all featuring live original music. And all the venues will be within 2 blocks of each other! In the near future we will be producing monthly "venue crawls" as well as outdoor street festivals. MADLANDS is being spearheaded by my company, ANTHEM PROJECT PRODUCTIONS, and the amazing graphic design/art collective, BLDG. CODA will be a vital part of MADLANDS. It's very exciting to get to work on the creation of an entire music and arts district.
Given your extensive knowledge of owning a music venue, what are you going to do differently that you see others doing?
The thing that CODA is going to do differently will revolve around our artist relationships and development. By that I'm referring to working closely with bands to develop an overall show strategy as opposed to just playing random shows. I really want to work with bands that are trying to get their music to the next level and break out beyond Cincy. So at CODA, we will work with the bands to get them opening slots on national shows as well as setting up artist showcases. For a showcase I use my connections with national booking agents and I convince them to fly to town for the weekend to watch a handful of Cincy bands. I've been doing this for years at the old Madhatter and currently at Madison Theater. Some of the bands in our scene now got their booking agent or label deal out of some of these showcases. So essentially, artist development and show promotion will be extremely important at CODA.