New venue making Homegrown debut

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It’s the home stretch of Homegrown, the final couple of days of the music festival.

Friday night, a new venue will make its debut. It’s called Annex du Nord, the art annex of Hostel du Nord.

It’s located in downtown Duluth on 3rd Ave. W and once housed the Salvation Army. Owner Bob Monahan has only ever held one other performance there.

"Everybody’s like, ‘When are you doing the next show?’ And I was like, hmm. When the stars align, basically," Monahan said. "So I guess you could say in a manner of speaking, the stars have kind of aligned for this Homegrown show."

Monahan, who once owned the bar and live music venue the Red Herring, was reluctant to jump back into hosting bands and artists. But another venue dropped out, and his friend and Homegrown Executive Director Melissa LaTour asked him to host.

"I didn’t hesitate. She texted me, and I just said, all caps, ‘YES,’" he said. "And then kind of was like, wait, what did I just sign up for?"

A fresh coat of black paint will surround artists on stage black box theater-style. Monahan will offer pop and water but no alcohol. He hopes to bring a "more chill and more holistic" vibe to the festival.

"I actually believe that music is magic," he said, "and that sitting and actually paying attention to it and not talking and maybe not guzzling beers gives you an entirely other experience."

Four bands will play the Annex du Nord starting at 6:30 p.m. It’s one of 14 venues (plus the DTA trolley) on Friday’s Rawk Night.