Inside Chesterfield’s new music and performance venue, The Factory


CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Just off Interstate 64 and Boones Crossing sits the former Chesterfield Outlet Mall, now being rebranded and upgraded into The District. It’s the crown jewel of the complex, a 52,000 square-foot site that will be pumping out the jams called The Factory.

“We have great venues in St. Louis but they’re all to the east,” said Michael Staenberg, owner of The District. “Nothing for Chesterfield or St. Charles. “An interesting fact is within 25 minutes of this site on I-64/40 and Boones Crossing, there is over 900,000 people that get here in 25 minutes, the population. So, we wanted to create something really fun. We’re going to have restaurants and pickle ball and catering and the Factory. It’s music, comedy everything you can imagine.”

Staenberg and Steve Schankman started working with Brian Carp two and half years ago.

They began building from the ground up this indoor music venue in 2020, at a time when many musicians and performance spaces were closing due to COVID.

Schankman is familiar with music builds helping to bring the Riverport Amphitheater and The Pageant to life.

“Concert experience has to be the best you can make for them. Easy to get here, easy parking,” said Steve Schankman, president of Contemporary Productions. “The bars are high capacity. Bathrooms have plenty of facilities. But the experience, sound, and lights, they have to love the place, no matter what the show is. You want them to experience when they’re getting in the car to drive out here, you want them to feel they’re going to a venue they love to go to. Number two, in the backstage area, you have to make it awesome for the artist and artist’s crew.”

Their original May opening pushed back to late July, giving organizers a chance to check acoustics and fine tune the space that can accommodate crowds of 1,500 to 3,000 people.

Balcony seating is just 75 feet from the massive stage with easy access for crew members.

“So, we have four dressing rooms along this corridor, each with own bathroom and shower,” said Brian Carp, chief operating officer of The Factory. “In addition to that, we have crew lounge close to the stage. Which has two bathrooms and two showers. Very easy to load out, it’s a 10-foot push directly from these docs directly onto the stage. So, it makes the labor bill go way down and the experience increase cause the bands can get in and out of here with ease.”

From the five dressing rooms to washers and dryers for bands and their crewmates, The Factory hopes to churn out some return performances from musicians and audiences.

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