Lynchburg, VA – After 27 successful years as a concert and private event venue, Phase 2 (formerly known as Cattle Annies) closed in November of 2019, due to the retirement of their managing partner. After a very aggressive sale process over the last 45 days, the property was officially bought early last week. Phase 2 was purchased for a total of $3.5 million paid entirely at closing. The purchase price was divided as $3.4 million to real estate, and $100,000 to the property’s furniture, fixings, and equipment.
Purpose Driven Events is the new owner of Phase 2. What is Purpose Driven Events? The company is the new umbrella organization for events led by Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Slye. The name of the entity falls in line with their mission to provide a purpose behind each event produced that goes far beyond just music. Phase 2 specifically will focus on a sustainability and environment friendly infrastructure, making it one of the only venues in the country to do so.
Though based in small town Virginia, and originating from a decade of very humble beginnings, the group has recently been nationally recognized as one of the fastest rising promoters in the industry. They are most known for producing the annual Blue Ridge Rock Festival, a locally developed event founded at DeVault Vineyards, and known as “The Fan Driven Rock Experience”. Following the event’s breakout year in 2019, Blue Ridge became a full-time operation heading into last year. Though the top eleven acts were never announced for the 2020 iteration, the Festival was on pace to sell 28,000 tickets per day prior to its COVID-19 forced postponement.
While live events have largely disappeared over the last year, Purpose Driven Events has expanded significantly in that time. The company now has a full staff, for the first time in their history. Terry Wecker, of locally-based DeVault Vineyards, has been brought onboard to serve as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. In addition, the organization has successfully recruited over a dozen major players in the music business from across the country, to join their team locally to maximize results.
In addition to the acquisition of Phase 2, there is another major venue purchase soon to be announced.
Blue Ridge Rock Festival is poised for its largest year yet, with its full lineup solidified for September 9th – 12th, 2021. Beyond Blue Ridge Rock, the company has created five additional festivals with notable lineups soon to be released. These include Blue Ridge Country Festival, Blue Ridge BBQ & Bourbon Festival, The Great American Mud Bog, as well as two other festivals that will be unveiled in the coming months. Given the growing relationships within the music industry nationwide, strategies have also been discussed to launch an EDM and Hip-Hop oriented festivals in the coming years.
As for plans at Phase 2, much has already been solidified. In a statement from Slye, “I have spent the last several years studying, and most importantly, listening to entertainment lovers in this area. I believe wholeheartedly we are going to present them with a venue that encapsulates all of the many components they have longed for, while staying true to the heart of this local community.”
During COVID-19, Phase 2 will undergo significant renovations. A completely new box office system will be unveiled to provide daily support to interested patrons, as well as greatly transform the admissions process. The whole venue will be repainted and designed to exude entirely new branding that ties into the feedback we have received from our community. A high-quality backstage area will be built for artists to help coincide with the company’s plans to bring the greatest talent lineup yet to the Lynchburg market. A new security force will be present, something Slye says is typically an overlooked critical piece, “I believe security personnel is one of the single most important aspects of launching a venue. They are often the first member of your team that a customer interacts with. Patrons cannot truly have an optimal experience if they are questioning their safety. We have worked very hard to deliver a plan, and team, that will provide a level of hospitality and security that has yet to be seen in this area.”
The venue’s stage will be expanded, alongside an all-new sound and lighting system. Additional point of sale systems, bars, and bartenders will now be instituted on a nightly basis. Internet speeds will be expanded in the venue as well. Together, that will expedite overall serving speeds by a cumulative 40%, and allow the customer to spend more time having fun, rather than waiting in line.
Phase 2 will book events with a greater level of diversity and scope than ever before, including country, rock, pop, hip hop, latin, texas country, metal, electronic, and more. Mixed martial arts, boxing, comedy, and car shows are amongst the types of non-music related events the venue will host.
A robust private event program has been developed that will provide unparalleled assistance to events of all sizes to utilize the many unique assets and features the facility has to offer.
An all-new restaurant will open under this umbrella, but will operate under a separate theme and name. The restaurant will be launched, along with a major giveaway, in the coming weeks.
The heartbeat of the new establishment all comes back to its purpose. “Integrity is the core for which everything is built on. Our organization is an anomaly. We do not focus in on what will make the most amount of money, but rather, what decision exudes one of principle and character. While that may go against standard business practices, it is something we have lived by, and our fans acknowledge that. I often say that some of the most passionate people I know reside right here in Lynchburg. They know our past. They know what we have overcome. They know we work tirelessly with them in mind. Our fans know our heart behind everything we do, and that resonates. I know many people reading this are unaware of us. We recognize we must prove ourselves to earn your respect, and that is something we are determined to do. It is my commitment to the city of Lynchburg that we will embody integrity at every turn. I could not be more grateful and proud of our team, and my partner, for working tirelessly to make this vision all possible. This will be a place where you can come year-round to escape and have fun, but most importantly, it will be a business that I believe this area will truly be proud of.”
The facility will be renamed. The official release of that name will take place Friday at 10am.
Additional information will be released consistently leading to the venue’s launch. The company’s headquarters will now reside at the new establishment.