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Cloudland: New Lake St. Music Venue Hopes to Help Fill Triple Rock/Hexagon Void

The 150-capacity club is set to open this October.


Maren Macosko building out the Cloudland stage.

Gather 'round, music-loving zoomers, and let me tell about the halcyon year known as 2012. There were no global pandemics forecast, nobody in the Trump family held meaningful power, and, closer to home, venues like Triple Rock Social Club, Hexagon Bar, Nomad World Pub, 400 Bar, Cause Spirits & Soundbar, and Grumpy's Downtown served the local music scene.

Today, they're all gone.

Places like Uptown's Green Room and North Loop's Underground Music Café have sprouted from the scorched landscape of smallish Twin Cities rock clubs, but the need remains apparent.

Enter Cloudland, the soon-to-open music venue at 3533 E. Lake St. in Minneapolis. Music scene vets Maren Macosko, a public school teacher, and Brad Lokkesmoe, a film production worker, dreamt up the idea last summer after watching the aforementioned spaces ascend to Venue Heaven. (Billed as "Sturgeon" at the time, Macosko played in local pop-punk greats the Soviettes and with Lokkesmoe in the band Gateway District.)

Brad Lokkesmoe and Maren Macosko.Provided

"As showgoers and artists, we wanted to participate in rebuilding what felt missing: small venues geared towards both the local scene as well as independent artists from out of town," they said, answering jointly via email. "East Lake Street was certainly in our search radius and when this spot came up, it immediately felt right. The neighbors are the best and the size is just perfect."

In 2014, architecture firm 292 Design Group extensively rehabbed the address, which once belonged to one of Lake Street's famous '90s prostitution hubs, Diane's Massage Parlor, before entering a long period of vacancy. The previous tenant left behind beautifully exposed brick, an open floor plan, and a floor-to-ceiling glass façade. Macosko and Lokkesmoe saw the potential for a 150-capacity concert hall.

The focus will be on creating a genre-spanning calendar of concerts, they report, though film screenings, photo and history exhibitions, and book readings may enter the mix. "The space is small enough to feel cozy and—hopefully!—big enough to put on a proper show," the co-owners explain, adding that capacity will be halved for seated events.

The future Cloudland.Provided

Cloudland is scheduled to soft launch on October 1. Beginning October 4, you can expect nightly bookings Wednesdays through Saturdays, with Sundays reserved for matinee performances. The venue's website is under construction, so Macosko and Lokkesmoe encourage curious readers to follow 'em via Instagram for updates.

"Both of us have always felt lucky to be from the Twin Cities, where independent art has long held its ground—Cloudland is another piece of this tradition," the team says. "The last few years have seen our city suffer too much, and the [Nudieland shooting] violence of this month is a tragic reminder of the need to be together. We hope people of all ages and backgrounds can come to enjoy and respect each other’s art!" 

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