The Venue: Most of our performances are held at The Center for Well-Being, a 100 year old former church that’s currently used as a yoga and massage facility. The hall has unusually wonderful acoustics and ambience. Though the room seats 100 people concert style, the feeling is somewhat like a large house concert. We also hold occasional concerts at the 600-seat State College High School, and recently have partnered with WPSU FM to hold concerts in their studios which seats about 160. We also use other local venues as the need arises.
Booking Main Acts: For main acts, we generally book fairly well-known regional or national artists. For representative examples, please browse schedules of past seasons. We do occasionally book lesser known performers if someone on our booking committee has heard them live. If you believe your act is of the appropriate quality and name recognition, please check first by sending email to our booking committee coordinator. Please don’t send us unsolicited promo packs for main acts slots. It only makes us feel bad when we have to say no!
(No) Sound Systems: One requirement of all our performers (with rare exception) is the willingness to play without a sound system. The acoustics in our main venue, the Center for Well Being, are excellent, and our audiences have come to expect fully acoustic shows. This requirement has nothing to do with not owning or having access to a sound system. Rather, it has to do with the acoustics of the venue, the expectations of the audience, and the philosophy of the booking committee. For our occasional shows at the larger venues, we do use a sound system.
Don’t take our word for it. Some paraphrased quotes from fellow performers:
“Lots of venues tell us you don’t need a sound system. Rarely is that true, but here, it is.” — Martin Hayes
“This room sounds like the inside of a guitar.” — Susan Werner
Location: We’re in central Pennsylvania, right near State College, where Penn State’s main campus is located. We are not, however, affiliated with Penn State. We’re four hours each from Philadelphia, Washington DC, Cleveland, New York City, and Ithaca, NY. Pittsburgh is about three hours away, and Harrisburg a mere 90 minutes. Written directions and maps are available.
Days / Frequency: We hold concerts about every three to four weeks from September through early June. Shows are usually on Saturday nights, though sometimes we hold a Friday or Sunday concert in order to accommodate a performer’s schedule.
Audiences: Though we’re located just three miles from Penn State’s main campus, we don’t get a lot of students in our audiences. We do attract faculty and others affiliated with the university. The audience is always quite attentive and appreciative, and sell-out crowds have lately been the norm. Many performers have commented that there’s a strong sense of community at the Brew.
Musical Tastes: Our musical tastes are pretty broad. We’ve booked singer / songwriters, bluegrass, celtic bands, acoustic blues, and old-timey acts. Our tastes probably tend more toward traditional than contemporary acts, though we do hire about two contemporary singer/songwriters per season The sort of performers that would not be appropriate for the Brew would be pop or folk / rock acts or anything requiring electric guitar or a drum set.