By Tori Mason, CBS4, Denver | After more than 50 years in the music industry, Chuck Morris still remembers his first concert.
“At 10 years old, I went to my first concert. It was The Kingston Trio. That’s how old I am!” laughed Morris, CEO of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains.
The Colorado Music Hall of Famer reminisced while standing in the construction of his latest project at 4242 Wynkoop Street: Mission Ballroom.
Mission Ballroom joins several local AEG operations including the Ogden, the Bluebird Theatre, Fiddler’s Green, the Gothic Theatre and 1STBank Center.
Morris told CBS4’s Tori Mason that the naming of their latest Denver venue happened on accident. “During a meeting, one of our partners said ‘We’re on a mission to build the greatest music ballroom,’” Morris explained.
They all agreed, Mission Ballroom was perfect.
“It’s going to be one of those multi-purpose monster clubs that’ll bring in everything! Just look at the first weekend,” said Morris of the inaugural shows.
AEG announced Tuesday that The Lumineers will play opening night, Aug. 7. Trey Anastasio of Phish will perform Aug. 9 and 10, then Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and will perform Aug. 12.
Morris says another two dozen artists will be announced soon.
The concert line-up is only part of Morris’ excitement. Morris and his partners, Brent Fedrizzi and Don Strasburg, spent the last eight years looking for the perfect place to build Mission Ballroom. The RiNo venue will anchor North Wynkoop, a 14-acre project by Westfield that’ll include retail and residential space.
Morris says AEG spared no expense in MB’s design.
“Mission Ballroom was designed with three core components that up to this point have not been fully integrated together in the club concert experience in the United States: flexibility in capacities, unrivaled sightlines and state-of-the-art in-house sound and lighting. Fans and the bands will love it,” said Morris.
MB will be home to Denver’s first “flexible stage” that allows the venue to change the room’s capacity, giving bands and guests a better view.
“We’re going to have a stage that’s on electrical rollers that moves up. It brings the sound and lights and everything with it,” said Morris. “Plus, there’s nothing more depressing for a band to play in front of a half-empty house.”
AEG Presents doesn’t struggle to sell tickets, but Morris is excited to have the option of creating a smaller venue for smaller shows. Mission Ballroom’s full capacity is 3,950, with enough seating area for around 2,000 people.
Morris says the people in those seats are who made their “Mission” possible.
“This couldn’t be done without the greatest music audience in the world, which is Colorado,” said Morris.
AEG will be testing out a new system to buy tickets at Mission Ballroom. Mission Fair Ticketing is meant to stop scalpers and give everyone a fair chance at getting tickets. By utilizing a registration system, automated ticket-buying programs and ticket brokers won’t be able to buy blocks of tickets.
Everyone who wants a ticket has an equal chance of obtaining one, and the process is user-friendly.
Read the whole story, especially for more info on the “Mission Fair Ticketing” program:
Original article has photos and video:
Tori Mason is an award-winning reporter for CBS4 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
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Chuck Morris on the Mission Ballroom and Its Opening Week Acts
By Kyle Harris, Westword | When Chuck Morris quit his grad-school program in political science at the University of Colorado Boulder in the late ’60s to book bands for and manage a tiny bar and restaurant called the Sink, he didn’t think his foray into the music industry would last more than six months.
Half a century later, the CEO of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains is set to open a 60,000-square- foot, 3,950-capacity music venue called The Mission Ballroom.
Denver-based folk-rockers The Lumineers will play opening night, August 7, he says. Then Trey Anastasio of Phish will perform August 9 and 10, and Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will co-headline on August 12.
The Mission Ballroom is not all Morris has to talk about; he also confesses he’s mulling retirement.
The longtime promoter, who sits on the board of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame (and was also a CMHOF inductee in late 2018), works in a veritable museum of rock-and-roll mythology. Framed platinum records and black-and-white photos of him hamming it up with rock stars cover his office walls.http://www.femmusic.com, for contributing this article.]