717 is about to become the hottest area code in the rock n' roll biz. The small town of Lititz, PA, which is 160 miles from New York City and 75 miles from Philadelphia, is home to the scenic gurus at Tait and the audio experts at Clair Brothers, with neighbors such as Control Freak Systems and Atomic Design, making it a hub for the entertainment business. And things are about to get a lot busier.
Lititz is a town of a little over 9,000 people, and it has quaint architecture on tree-lined streets with antique shops and cafés. It is in the heart of Amish country and it is not rare to see a Tait truck passing a horse and buggy on the local roads. (In fact, I saw an Amish couple in traditional dress walking by as I drove out there a few weeks ago). What's happening in Lititz this week is the opening of Rock Lititz, a co-venture by Tait and Clair, as was reported in The Wall Street Journal in August: "Now the two companies have joined forces on a plan to not just equip rock stars, but to actually lure them to Lititz. Later this month, Clair and Tait will open the Rock Lititz Studio, the largest dedicated rehearsal space in the world, the partners say. A hollow cube erected on a former cornfield, the 100-foot-tall, 52,000 square-foot building was designed to host the industry's biggest stage productions. It was built for $7 million, including a $3 million state grant." Staff at Rock Lititz includes operations manager Gary Ferenchak, and Sarah Zeitler, studio manager.
And Rock Lititz is just the tip of the iceberg. The big black building for rehearsals is not the only thing that will rise out of the lush farmland and rolling corn fields. A total of 96 acres has been purchased with the idea of an entire entertainment business campus to be developed with more support companies moving in. As the folks in Lititz are asking, why ship scenery and audio gear and automation across the country to rehearsal facilities elsewhere—why not just bring the bands to Lititz? Why not indeed?
Read the full article here in The Wall Street Journal, and stay tuned for Live Design's coverage of Rock Lititz. Check out the Rock Lititz video below.