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Sunday, February 25, 2024

New local music venue debuts with New Moon festival

By day, Flow Space offers a serene environment for yoga and fitness training. By night, it is a lively event hall for concerts and parties.

Flow Space, located downtown at 117 NW 16th Ave., was officially opened this summer as a movement arts facility, but also serves as an event venue for concerts and celebrations.

Maggie Rucker, the owner and manager of the facility, opened the space after instructing yoga for 10 years, incorporating her love of fitness and music into one.

“I was presented the opportunity to create something in this building, and we chose the direction of not only movement but also music,” she said. “The whole point of what we’re doing at Flow Space is to become a community spot for people to come and enjoy other people.”

As Rucker was opening Flow Space, another venue in town was shutting down. The Jam, previously located on West University Avenue, was one of Gainesville’s most popular music venues until its closing in May, according to Alligator archives. Despite the loss of a premier event site, Rucker and the previous owners of the Jam are working to secure Flow Space as the next social hub.

In order to do this, Flow Space will host Jan Waldick’s Jam Fam New Moon Festival, an all-day festival-style event to take place Saturday.

Since the Jam’s closing earlier this year, many were eager for a “Jamily” reunion.

“A lot of people were itching to do something,” said Dave Johnson, the festival’s producer. “People wanted to play, to put something on.”

Members of the Jamily played a large part in the event’s organization, specifically Gainesville band Locochino, a favorite at the Jam and the headliner for Saturday’s event. Johnson, who is also Locochino’s manager, said the band helped with everything from booking performers to organizing the day’s schedule.

The festival is set to start at 3 p.m. Afternoon activities will include children’s workshops and an acoustic set.

“(We) wanted to make it as inclusive as possible, which meant family-friendly, bringing the kids,” Johnson said. “Don’t worry about altering your day to do this. Bring your day with you.”

As the night draws on, however, the festival will go into louder and more electronic sets, a vibe typical of a Saturday night out. Performers include Locochino, Hail Cassius Neptune, (V)owls, Wester Joseph’s Stereo Vudu and several other musicians.

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Saturday’s event will also feature a special benefit for two notable Jamily members.

Ed Waldick ran lights and sound at the Jam for four years. His wife, Jan, recently passed away; a charity portion was added to Saturday’s schedule to assist Waldick with medical bills and to honor Jan.

The benefit will consist of raffles and auctions for prizes such as private shows by featured bands, massage sessions, art pieces and band merchandise. A large percentage of ticket sales will also go toward helping Waldick.

Tickets to Saturday’s festival can be purchased online at locochino.com for $11 or $15 at the door.

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