Springfield community rallies around The Outland, organize jam session in support

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In a time of desperate need, the Springfield community is rallying around a local music venue, The Outland Ballroom.

Reporter David Chasanov met with a woman who is organizing an event to support the music venue tomorrow night.

At Park Central Square around 5 Sunday night, musicians will gather and have a jam session.

She’ll have a tip jar if anyone wants to donate to the Outland fund.

Kelly Sova created this Facebook event. More than 400 people have said they’re interested.

“But now we’re debating on whether or not we should have some sort of PA system or sign-up list because there’s going to be so many people,” Sova said. “We will be collecting donations for The Outland.”

Sova has been going to shows there since she was 16.

“I originally went to a cover show at The Outland Ballroom and that kind of sparked my love for local concerts and just concerts in general,” Sova said,

She’s 19 now.

“I started going to more and more shows as I grew up and just going to open mic nights and stuff like that,” Sova said.

Johan Collins has been responsible for a good portion of those shows.

He’s booked talent at the outland for 18 years.

“I moved here about 20 years ago,” Collins said. “They gave us a home. They gave us a place where you don’t judge anyone. A place where everyone is equal.”

He’s been doing shows his entire life.

“There’s no other venue in Missouri that offers what this venue offers,” Collins said. “You can come in here. You can watch a drag show, or you can watch a hip-hop show downstairs.”

But it’s more than just a place to Collins.

“Without this behind me, Springfield to me, it’s whatever,” Collins said. “But with this, there’s something here. There’s nothing like it in the whole entire state and I love it.”

Even the artists he books feel the same.

Chris Caldwell has played at The Outland for 18 years.

“Got to play my first show there,” Caldwell said. “Got my first paying gig as a musician there. Five bucks, which was a lot to me back then.”

He’s a drummer.

“It was just an amazing place to be no matter what style of music you liked,” Caldwell said. “No matter what genre no matter what part of life you were in.”

Caldwell says it’s time for the community to step up and help The Outland.

“It’s not their fault that COVID shut them down,” Caldwell said. “But we can do as much as we can to make sure that they stay around.”

Aside from the event on June 21, there is a GoFundMe that’s going directly to The Outland.

So far, more than $31,000 has been raised.

You can also show support by buying a t-shirt on The Outland’s website.

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