Frank Productions has announced that it will be purchasing the High Noon Saloon in Madison, Wis. from its beloved owner Cathy Dethmers. Dethmers decided after 23 years in the live music business and 13 years as owner of the Saloon, that she wanted to sell the establishment to spend more time with her two sons. Dethmers turned to long time business partners Frank Productions to purchase the venue and continue to uphold the high standards expected of her legacy and the Madison community.
The Saloon “is something that we’ve always had our eye on, but Cathy is such a legend in town,” Frank Productions President Charlie Goldstone told Amplify. “As long as she wanted to run it, it was a great place for her to be and for us to do business.” Goldstone added that when “she decided to retire we were happy to “try to fill those shoes and take on that role.”
“It is crucial to me that the High Noon continues to play its unique role in the music scene, and carries on as a welcoming venue for all types of bands and community events,” said Dethmers in a joint statement. “I knew I wanted to find a buyer as dedicated to music in Madison as I am. Given my longstanding business relationship with Frank Productions, the Franks were an obvious choice for running the High Noon, and I’m confident they will maintain the legacy I’ve built there.”
Both Dethmers and High Noon are well established in the Madison community. Cathy has been working in Madison for over 20 years, where she leased the O’Cayz Corral. The Coral hosted huge names like Nirvana, The White Stripes, Queens of the Stone Age, and Elliot Smith before a nearby venue caught fire in 2001 and took the coral down with it. Cathy then moved a few blocks over and opened the High Noon Saloon which has seen performances from Wanda Jackson, The Black Keys, The Nationals, Jason Isbell, Sara Bareilles, and Vampire Weekend.
In addition, the people of Madison have repeatedly shown their love for the saloon. The about page on the Saloon’s website is plastered with accommodations from various Wisconsin press outlets that have declared High Noon the winner of many awards including Madison’s Favorite Live Music Venue 11 times in its last 12 years.
“There’s really nothing to change. The 400-capacity High Noon Saloon gets voted as Madison’s favorite venue almost every year by the local arts magazine,” said Goldstone. “It’s a really good mix of national touring acts and local musicians and artists. It’s a great room for local bands to come and build their audience. We certainly want to keep that balance in place. We don’t want to do anything to change the vibe or the character or the programming.”
The sale of the Saloon is expected to be completed by May 1 with all scheduled events continuing to take place.
“We’ve just started to dig in with the staff and integrate our staff with theirs. The next two and a half months we’ll be putting our plan together so that we can have a smooth transition come May 1,” Goldstone explained. “The staff knows us and we know them. It’s not like there is somebody from out of town coming in and trying to figure out the market. It should be a pretty natural transition without a lot of change. We plan on booking it the same way with the same people.”
Another plus for Frank Productions is the location of the Saloon.
“It also happens to be two blocks away from The Sylvee project which is our upcoming 2,500-seat venue which will be across the street from Breese Stevens Field (9,000-cap), an outdoor venue,” Goldstone said.
All three venues will be within Madison’s Capital East or Cap East district, giving Frank Productions a small, medium, and large option for talent playing in the area.
He added “It’s a great entertainment corridor for us and it was good timing for us to purchase it when she wanted to sell it. It’s going to fit well with everything else we’re doing.”
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