Local musician Ryan Glisson thinks Macon’s emerging music scene and economic growth all mean one thing. It’s time to give the Macon Venue Project, MVP, another go.
In 2007, Glisson and his friends started MVP by hosting seven or eight music gigs that “were amazingly successful,” Glisson said.
Then in 2008, Glisson launched his first music venue on Cherry Street, which featured bands from the underground music scene.
As a teenager, Glisson said that he’d check out music shows on Cherry Street, which not only sparked his passion for music but also introduced him to new friends who eventually all decided to form a band called “Nor Am I.”
“It really drove us going forward and put the passion in our hearts to play music,” Glisson said.
When he opened MVP, he said that music fanatics came from all over the country to attend the venue’s shows. Glisson said at MVP’s peak, bands would perform to a crowd of 700 people.
But the venue’s success was short lived.
Glisson admitted that his lack of experience, cost of show production and a “series of building problems” caused MVP to close its doors in August 2009.
“At the time, people weren’t really receptive,” he said.
Also, the guitarist said his landlord’s skepticism behind the whole project didn’t help either.
After MVP’s closure, Glisson put his days in the music scene behind him and shifted his focus to his career as a website designer/developer. But Glisson couldn’t shake off that desire to relive the electric energy he felt from those packed shows at MVP.
Eight years later, the guitarist made the decision to return back to music and relaunch MVP.
"I’m going to stay with music. I’m going to put my heart into something that has given me my heart,” he said.
MVP will now be Glisson’s full-time job, and he’ll be working under the title as “owner.” As of now, Glisson is solely taking on this endeavor.
This time around, however, Glisson is confident that the venue will thrive.
"At the time (back in 2008) it seems like downtown was growing, but since then downtown is growing drastically. There’s no better time for Macon,” he said.
When MVP first opened its doors in 2008, Glisson said that parents were reluctant to drop their kids off at shows because they doubted downtown’s “reputation.”
“Downtown is improving and parents will definitely be more comfortable dropping their children downtown now versus eight years ago,” he said.
Glisson started a crowdfunding campaign for the Macon Venue Project on Indiegogo and soon discovered that he wasn’t the only one who missed MVP.
The fundraising campaign launched 15 days ago and has over 100 shares on Facebook. Glisson said that his Facebook page has been inundated with messages from excited fans.
Glisson is scouting out potential venue spots downtown that can hold 250 to 500 people, according to the crowd- funding site.
In a year from now, Glisson hopes to have the building solidified, licenses and insurance straightened out, build- ing modifications completed and the first string of shows booked.