Capshaw folds Starr Hill, buys into Satellite
Music mogul Coran Capshaw is bringing his international reach and the promise of "marquee national artists" to the Corner by partnering with the owners of the Satellite Ballroom and closing his nearby Starr Hill Music Hall and Restaurant.
This means that Capshaw, who manages the Dave Matthews Band and has sizeable interests in Bonnaroo and LiveNation has now acquired a musical trifecta on the local scene because he now controls a small, medium, and large venue.
Satellite Ballroom is the small (500 people for a standing event, 350 seated); the under-renovation Jefferson Theater is the medium (just under 1,000); and his opened-in-2005 Charlottesville Pavilion is the large (at about 3,500 seat-and-lawn capacity).
This range of venue sizes means that Capshaw can lessen his reliance on the approximately 1,000-seat Paramount and keep all his bookings under his own roofs, with the exception of extremely large shows which remain the province of the John Paul Jones Arena.
An employee of Starr Hill tells the Hook that staff of Starr Hill– the eight-year-old West Main Street venue which has hosted the likes of They Might Be Giants, Soulive, and Chris Daughtry– received word of the closure about a week ago. A press release issued last night confirms that the July 7 concert featuring local rock band Navel will be the last.
Although Starr Hill brought in musical stars, the approximately 450-person-capacity upstairs location atop a pair of stairways often raised eyebrows among safety-conscious patrons. By contrast, the Satellite Ballroom occupies a ground floor location behind Michael's Bistro in what had once been part of Charlottesville's long-operating Anderson Brothers Bookstore. Hook columnists had issued varying opinions on the Ballroom over the years, including lauding its December 2004 opening and seeking better sound.
"Performances brought to the Satellite Ballroom will benefit from the venue's location near UVA as well as its larger capacity," says the release from Capshaw's organization. "The promoters expect to make significant upgrades to the Satellite Ballroom's production capabilities over the summer.
"Our staff is delighted to be joining forces with Starr Hill's team," said Satellite Ballroom booker Danny Shea.
The employee with whom the Hook spoke says that Starr Hill, which opened in the fall of 1999, has been sold to become– of all things (given that it's located across the street from Wild Wing Cafe) a sports bar, although no such confirming announcement has been made.
Three already-announced July Starr Hill shows– Souls of Mischief, Israel Vibration, and Ben Kweller– have already been relocated to the Satellite Ballroom. The Navel farewell show has as its openers Book of Job and the Eli Cook Band.