The Blue Room: "A Downtown for Everyone"

three people sit on a bench in front of a large window

Over the last two years, it has become increasingly difficult to forge and maintain valuable, long-lasting connections between creators and their communities. Ben Hodson and Martjin Wall wanted to reconnect people in Bellingham after the long period of isolation and disruption. In September of 2021, they started up HodWall Productions to promote all-ages concerts and events.

“HodWall Productions is here to revive and reconnect the arts community as society opens up again,” proclaims their website.

They rounded out the team with technical chops contributed by their friend Nick Hastings and starting putting on shows. Throughout fall of 2021, HodWall events drew crowds and live-streamed from existing Bellingham venues like Make.Shift, the Firehouse Arts and Events Center, and the Karate Church.

“We were looking to provide collaborative community experiences - give artists connections to book shows, perform,” says Hodson.

HodWall was already building momentum when preparation met opportunity. Hodson bumped into the general manager of the downtown Kpop restaurant at a party this winter. “They told me the venue upstairs from Kpop was sitting empty and the building owners were eager to put it to use.”

The Blue Room was born.

Hodwall is planning a mix of events in The Blue Room - comedy nights, movie nights, open mic Thursdays, and weekend concerts. The Blue Room will also host a gallery space, and vendors in the lounge areas on Thursdays. “Our vision is ‘A Downtown for Everyone.’”

Wall and Hastings are both current Music majors at Western. Hodson is a Western alum with a business major. He minored in Music as well as a special program at Western called Arts Enterprise and Cultural Innovation (“AECI”). HodWall Productions was Hodson's capstone project in the AECI minor.

“I had weekly meetings with Aric [Mayer] and Lucas [Senger],” he says. "They helped me develop the idea behind HodWall way back before I graduated college when The Blue Room wasn't a thing yet.”

Opening weekend at The Blue Room is March 4. The line up features Foxy Apollo, Roland Olayvar, and Ceras on Friday night; with Diego Romero Band and WWU Jazz bands on Saturday, March 5.

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Apr 25, 2022 1:17pm