Druid City Music Hall gets much-needed makeover

Libby Foster, Contributing Writer

When Jason Oschwald first walked into Druid City Music Hall last year, he saw an opportunity. Though some viewed the venue’s low-sitting stage and outdated layout as a headache, Oschwald and his associates saw a valuable investment. 

Oschwald is a promoter for Big Spring Entertainment, a concert production company based out of Huntsville. Big Spring bought Druid City Music Hall last summer and took over operations in December. 

Big Spring always had a makeover in mind for the venue, but they planned to wait until the end of the University’s spring semester to begin renovations. After COVID-19 closed campus in March, they decided to break ground on renovations in early April. 

With the closure of music venues during the pandemic, Druid City has taken its time with renovations. They will be completed in late September rather than the scheduled August. 

The ongoing renovations are extensive: the $1.6 million project affects nearly every aspect of the venue. 

In order to appeal to touring artists, the green rooms, dressing rooms and sound system have all been upgraded. In order to attract concertgoers, layout problems have been resolved, the stage has been lifted and two balconies have just been added. 

The balcony addition increases the venue’s capacity from 750 to 1,000, which “will allow us to go get bigger names,” Oschwald said. 

Touchless bathroom hardware and contactless payment systems have also been added to the venue to address some of the health-related concerns they anticipate fans will have upon the return of touring artists to Tuscaloosa. 

Before concerts can open, Oschwald and his associates hope that Druid City can serve as an event space. They plan to host Greek, corporate, and private events in the interim, with the goal to make Druid City “the premier event space of Tuscaloosa,” Oschwald said. 

More than anything, renovations to Druid City Music Hall can contribute to the Tuscaloosa music scene. 

“There’s such a rich tradition of artists and music in Alabama, and we wanted to create a place for them to play and call home. Outside of the Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile markets, there weren’t many other places for artists to come play in premier venues. We think that this music hall will get on the radar of agents and national touring acts really quickly once they see how nice it is and all the upgrades we’ve made,” Oschwald said.