Upland’s new venue draws local bands and big crowds.
by Victoria Allende
photography by Rhiannon Mim
The Wire Music and Art Venue in Upland is a dream-come-true for owners Donavan and Rachel Foy. The Wire is a small, well-kept venue that is almost hidden among the row of shops on Second Street, in downtown Upland. When the red double doors are closed, it is unclear what is on the other side. But once the overhead spotlights turn on and shine above the front entrance, the venue comes to life. Behind those secretive double doors, beautiful wood floors pave the path from the entrance to the stage.
While The Wire appears small, it is the perfect setting for an intimate performance. As bands hit the stage, the lights dim and the music fills the all-ages venue. It is the perfect spot for new and local bands to showcase their talents to family and friends.
The Foys wanted to own a place where local bands could play. Rachel recalls driving around looking for the perfect place for their business.
“We found this place and it ended up being the right place for us,” Rachel says.
After a few obstacles, the Foys began construction on the venue in May 2006 and opened the doors to The Wire Music and Art Venue in August 2006. The couple, who work year-round, have yet to take a real vacation since the venue’s opening. “This is our main job, and more,” Rachel explains.
As the drummer for the band, The Ready Aim Fire, Donavan is the perfect person to own The Wire. His experience as a musician allows him to relate to the lifestyle and needs of local bands, which is their priority.
“We are here for the local bands,” Rachel says.
Their hard work is paying off.
Robert Thiel, a member of the band Screaming Remedy, has played at the venue twice.
“It’s very nice,” Thiel says. “It’s very comfortable playing here.”
He also enjoys working with the Foys.
“They’ve been great. They are very nice,” Thiel says.
The Wire is not only a venue for local bands to perform, but also a place to record music as well. Bands who are interested in recording a live performance of their show have the opportunity to receive an edited copy of their performance. The Foys have invested in the necessary editing equipment, such as ProTools LE7, to give bands the best recorded sound and editing quality. The Wire also specializes in providing bands with the opportunity to get in the recording studio. The Foys pride themselves on offering affordable pricing to bands who want to use their recording facilities, unlike many other pricey studios.
The Wire doesn’t stop at just having the best recording equipment and sound system, it also has an experienced staff. The Wire is a musician-friendly environment. All of the employees who work at The Wire are either in their own bands or are musicians.
Tristan Porter has been an employee at The Wire since November 2006. He has performed at the venue a few different times with various bands he has been a part of, including Harrison Ford and Deeragon Attack. He appreciates the atmosphere the Foys have created.
“They are doing a lot of great things for the younger crowd,” Porter says. “A lot of towns don’t have a good place for bands to play at. I grew up playing at coffee shops and warehouses. This blows all the other places I played at out of the water.”
Fellow artist Brian Hess enjoys performing at The Wire with his band Singlefaze.
“We’ve played there three different times,” Hess says. “Our experience has always been wonderful.” He is especially pleased with the venue’s great staff, particularly Donavan.
In addition to their great staff, Hess enjoys the sound quality that the venue provides during performances.
“The stage sound is incredible,” Hess explains. “They have a lot of good things going for them.” Hess and his band plan to return to perform at The Wire in the future.
What does the future hold for the Foys and The Wire? Donavan and his band have been working on their album. “They are going to be releasing their first full-length album in June,” Rachel says. “They recorded it all at the venue.”
Aside from the album release, the couple plan to keep working hard to achieve all their goals. With a devoted, hardworking pair like the Foys, anything seems possible.