Curtain opens for new Clyde executive director
January 24, 2019
Seeing a show at The Clyde is all about having fun, but it’s something Gregg Coyle takes very seriously. He’s the new executive director at the recently renovated live music venue in Fort Wayne.
“This job at The Clyde got me really excited for the first time in a long time to be part of something that is special,” Coyle said. “For so many people, music resonates as that thing that’s comforting or that thing that helps them connect with a better world. I love the fact that we get to provide that.”
Coyle has spent more than two decades in the entertainment industry, working in bars and restaurants and nightclubs, learning the ropes and moving up the ranks to become the manager of large venues in New Jersey and North Carolina.
He brought his experience, talents, and passion to Fort Wayne a little over a month ago and is hard at work making sure that The Clyde is one of the best places in the area to enjoy live music.
Rich history, bright future
Since it opened in May, The Clyde has already hosted more than 60 shows and become known for its relaxed atmosphere, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, and wide variety of national touring acts stretching across a dozen genres.
Its rich history as a movie theater evokes memories among older patrons who remember it in its heyday, and its updated, modern look creates new memories for those who are there to enjoy current concerts.
Coyle’s job is to help make sure those memories are nothing but positive.
“It’s challenging when someone’s on the road,” Coyle noted. “It’s not an easy life for them at all. You just want to make sure they can relax and enjoy their time and be able to put on the best show possible for their fans.
“Every single band that’s come through loves the quality of sound in the room. And it’s amazing to me how the customers also realize what a good sound system we have and how good the acoustics are. They comment on it every single show.
“I’m especially grateful to Sweetwater and Chuck and Lisa Surack for their support,” Coyle continued. “Thanks to their early involvement, The Clyde is a truly world-class music venue with state-of-the-art acoustics and sound. The Sweetwater team also continues to play a significant role in everything we do and helps to ensure an outstanding customer experience for all our guests. As a musician himself, Chuck understands what goes into putting on a great show and he’s worked hard to ensure that both artists and fans are blown away when they step into The Clyde.”
Versatility and Variety
From the moment customers walk in the door until the moment the show ends, the goal is the same: provide an unforgettable night of entertainment that allows people to enjoy themselves.
“The most important thing is the night of the show. Everything else is secondary,” Coyle said. “I love for no one to ever know what went into it. They should just have fun.
“People should never know how much work it was to make it happen. They are trusting you with a night off, whether they’re an electrician or a plumber or a car mechanic or a hairdresser, everybody works really hard and they want to escape the world and go out for a fun night.”
What makes The Clyde unique is its versatility. Depending on the show, chairs can be brought in for a seated experience or removed for a standing-room only concert.
The space can also accommodate private rentals that require tables, like recent events for the Boys & Girls Club and Greater Fort Wayne Inc.
Coyle said the new year will bring a wider variety of entertainment that appeals to a broad audience.
Upcoming shows include everything from top country artists Russell Dickerson and Carly Pearce to “La Bamba” hitmaker Los Lobos. Jazz fans will enjoy Grammy-nominated and Soul Train Award winner Boney James. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Hughes, known for playing bass and singing in the band Deep Purple, will be here in May.
“Of course we’ll also continue to offer a solid slate of rock and metal shows like we did in 2018 with bands like Machine Head, Black Label Society and Anthrax,” Coyle added.
“The goal is to be a place where the community feels welcome. That’s maybe the number one thing — reaching people in the community that didn’t realize The Clyde was an option.”