Weekly 5: Music and theater venues for Provo residents

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Sprinkled all throughout greater Provo City are venues that exhibit local musicians and performances year round. Each has its own setting and purpose, with unique elements.

The Velour

The Velour is a quaint and cozy 300-person-capacity venue in downtown Provo. It is full of vintage art and decorations that create a nostalgic feel inside. It has served as a springboard for bands that have started in Provo, like Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, Fictionist and Joshua James. The Velour also holds occasional film screenings and open mic nights.

The Covey Center for the Arts 

The Covey Center for the Arts is a community-centered venue with a 670-seat performance hall, used for both music and theater. The center, which is run by Provo City, features its own productions and musicians but is also available for rent for private productions. It was constructed in 2007 and boasts three dance studios and three free art galleries. Its 100-seat black box theater offers a smaller, more intimate experience.

The Covey Center for the Arts has hosted many internationally known performers including Stomp, The Beach Boys, Kurt Bestor and Foreigner.

“I feel like the artists at the Covey are the kind of people who know how to bring interaction even in an intimate setting,” said Eden Wen, a public relations graduate from Ridgefield, Connecticut. “Even though everyone is seated, you feel like you are a part of the show. You find yourself on the edge of your seat, clapping and cheering.”

The Gerrit de Jong, Jr., Concert Hall

The de Jong is a multidisciplinary theater and concert hall that showcases live music, dance and dramatic performances. It’s located on the northeast side of BYU campus in the Harris Fine Arts Center and boasts an aesthetically designed 94-foot stage with 1,268 theater seats.

“It’s housed everything from events for the School of Music and the Department of Dance to touring Chinese acrobatic groups. There’s been a real mix of professional performances and student events here,” said Jeff Martin, the producer of BYU performances.

It is also used for high-quality recordings and live film and television productions of musical events.

Muse Music Cafe

Located on University Avenue in downtown Provo, Muse Music Cafe adds a unique setting to the music and counter-culture scene in Provo, combining a sit-down café with an intimate venue. Not only does it hold concerts for local bands for only $5–$7, it can be rented out for rehearsals, shows and tapings from $10 an hour. The cafe even hosts free yoga on Tuesday nights.

SCERA Amphitheater

The SCERA is a three-part venue: an indoor theater, an outdoor amphitheater and a historical museum. This summer the theater will play modern movies like “World War Z,” nostalgic movies like “Jurassic Park” and classics like “Singin’ in the Rain” and the musicals “Les Miserables” and “Cinderella.” It also features musicians in their outdoor concert series, featuring bands like the Nashville Tribute Band and Kenny Loggins.

“I went to the LDS Film Festival screenings there, and it had a really cool vibe. It felt very historical and sophisticated,” said Isaac Lomeli, an information systems graduate from Seattle.

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