A new venue for Open Stage!
Hill City, SD – Open Stage, Hill City’s popular winter tradition that connects performing artists with enthusiastic audiences, will begin a new era when it opens its 2017 season at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, in the Dakota Hall of High Country Guest Ranch. Admission is free, but donations support an annual scholarship program for Hill City High School and other Hill City Arts Council educational initiatives.
The Open Stage series will continue with events at High Country, off Deerfield Road just four miles west of Hill City, on Jan. 28, Feb. 11 and 25, and March 11 and 25. The doors will open at 5 p.m., and musician sign-up will start at 5:15. The number of performers will be limited, so that the events can conclude by 10 p.m. For parking, follow the signs.
The recent closing of Chute Rooster displaced Open Stage from its comfortable setting of many years, but the Hill City Arts Council is excited about the new partnership with High County Guest Ranch. Most aspects of the 2017 events will be familiar: Dan Dickey will return as the emcee, Crow Ridge Productions will manage the sound, and the stage will be filled, as always, with a mix of established performers and emerging talent.
But there will be some changes. The new venue will be much more accessible to people with disabilities, with ground-floor entrance through the High Country store and accessible restrooms. Dakota Hall will also nearly double the capacity of the events. Food service, 5:30-7 p.m. (or when the food runs out), will be buffet style, as is customary at Dakota Hall. Buffet prices range from $13.50 to $19.50 ($5 off for kids 12 and under). Beverages will be available throughout the events. And out a side exit a blazing fire ring will be inviting for fresh air and star-gazing.
Open Stage has become a favorite of both artists and audiences because of the event’s tradition of providing a comfortable venue for performances, with an audience that comes to listen. The event has become a launching pad for many performers, and has become a model for other open-mic events in the region.