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Duluth approves deal for live music at theater

File Photo 

File Photo 

DULUTH — After months of sorting through proposals for the Red Clay Theatre, the Duluth City Council approved one sent by Eddie Owen, founder of Decatur’s popular music venue Eddie’s Attic. Red Clay has had trouble staying afloat in the past as a theatrical venue — especially with New Dawn Theatre down the street and the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. There were also problems with former management companies.

“There were ideas to add music venues to create life after 5 p.m. in Duluth,” said Chris McGahee, Duluth’s economic development manager. “We are struggling to have activities at night. We hope this will create more foot traffic for the new businesses here.”

He later added, “We believe that live original music entertainment is going to be the best opportunity in that area.”

On Monday night, the city council approved Owen’s short-term proposal for a live entertainment venue. He must now write a draft for his long-term management agreement for the council to read over, which should be completed in the next two weeks.

Once the city is satisfied with the plans and give the final approval, he will be able to book acts and other events for the venue.

Since opening Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Owen has brought thousands of live bands through the doors and a handful later became mainstream music stars, like John Mayer and Sugarland. Duluth hopes he can do the same for their city.

The other proposals given to the city were from classical theater production companies, but were turned down.