The Factory looks to grow with Zietgiest in Rochester

Shane Ford and Jerry Wald weren’t looking
to start their own music venue when they stumbled upon 334 S Main St.
in downtown Rochester, but that’s what they got when they did last year.

Today The Factory
is one of downtown Rochester’s most vibrant spots, attracting dozens of
people several times a week for performances. It started when Wald, 22,
was looking for some downtown studio space for his photography
business. Ford, a 21-year-old musician, wanted a practice space for his
band. Then Wald found the space behind Tower Pizza and both fell in
love with it.

“We just kinda fell into it,” Ford says.

They
set up the space for an intimate concert venue. Their first show
attracted about 90 people to a place with a capacity of 100. Since then
they have been doing several shows a week from various music genres.
Those attending range in age from 6-60 years old.

“It all depends on who the bands are and what their fan base is,” Ford says.

And
they do this without an alcohol license. Several bars are within easy
stumbling distance, so Ford and Wald direct patrons to them if they
want a drink. They make their money at the door.

It has been so
successful that they are planning on opening a retail store nearby to
complement The Factory. Zietgiest will sell shirts, music and other
music paraphernalia. The old house turned commercial storefront will
sell the merchandise and even have a smaller performance area for
things like poetry readings.

Source: Shane Ford, co-owner of The Factory
Writer: Jon Zemke