Walking into Ignition Music Garage is like stepping back – before digital files, before CD’s and even before cassettes – to a time when vinyl records provided the introduction to musicians like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and AC/DC.When shopping at Ignition, customers find a number of used vinyl records ranging in genre from 80’s hair bands to smooth jazz. Customers can expect to pay anywhere from $2 for an old beat-up record to $120 for a new boxed set of the Rolling Stones’ entire music career.
Along with used vinyl, Ignition carries select recent recordings from famous bands and emerging bands that have performed at Ignition. They offer new CDs, turntables, surround sound entertainment systems and turntable cleaning supplies.
Steve Martin founded Ignition Music Garage in 2012 with help from Jason Samuel, a Goshen College communication professor and general manager of 91.1 The Globe. Martin’s goal when starting Ignition was to create a place where music lovers could talk about, listen to and buy great music and catch a concert from time to time to hear their favorite music live.
Before Ignition was a music space, it was an automotive shop. Martin kept the original garage door and the original flooring: one large concrete slab. The walls are old, aged brick covered with concert posters and album covers from new and old artists and bands.
On most days this is what customers who shop for albums will find. But every few weeks, Ignition is transformed into a concert venue that hosts Americana bands like The Outer Vibe, The Accidentals and The Main Squeeze.
Since opening in 2012, Ignition has “sold thousands of tickets and had over 108 shows,” Martin said.
The stage is located in the northwest corner of the store with chairs set up off to the side for a clear view of any concert. Just before the concert starts, all the lights dim, except for those above the stage. The place starts rocking with whatever band is there for the night.
Upcoming bands include The Seth Walker Band on Nov. 11 and The Nick Moss Band on Jan. 14. Tickets for these shows can be purchased at ignitionmusic.net. While on the website, you can explore additional concert-going opportunities.
Samuel’s view of Ignition concerts is treating the performers like “rock stars.”
“We understand that this is what they do for a living,” Samuel said. “And they’re doing this professionally, so we want to treat them as professionals.”
Residents of the city of Goshen are not the only ones who benefit from the bands that Ignition brings to town. Ignition also welcomes Goshen College students to these concerts.
Lucia Nisly, a first-year, “appreciates that [Ignition] always brings in strong talent and that they put on a variety of acts,” to keep concert goers coming back again and again. Nisly also added, “It is nice to see the community support” and see so many people at the concerts Ignition puts on.
The stage placement and setup for concerts has worked for the first few years, but Martin is ready for a new look to enhance the concert experience at Ignition. In 2015, Ignition’s event revenue increased by 50 percent, prompting the plans for a new stage.
To make those plans a reality, Ignition Music needs $25,000 to fund the project. Ignition started a Goshen Funded page to raise the money. Goshen Funded is a way of crowdfunding projects for the good of the community.
The plan is to build a larger stage to give bands and artists more room to move around during a concert. The current stage is low compared to most stages at other concert venues. The plan is to raise the stage so that the band is higher and easier to see from the back of the crowd.
Nisly said, “it’s reassuring to see them making improvements… so they will be putting on shows for a while.”
Many community members and concert-goers are behind Ignition in helping build a new stage so that the venue can continue to bring new upcoming acts to downtown Goshen.
Along with the new stage, the sound system will also get an upgrade. The new sound system will give listeners a better show because it will enhance the quality of the music and give concert-goers the chance to hear a purer sound.
The sound system will also include a system for concert recording so that Ignition can share the audio on their website. To go along with the recorded audio, Martin wants to add camera equipment to shoot high quality concert video to post on YouTube and the Ignition website.
Martin feels that the upgrades are “critical to bringing in younger fans. By moving into the digital realm, we’ll connect with new music fans, and hopefully show the magic that happens when musicians and their songs connect with an audience.”