New music venue brings bands from across the country to East Moline

Published: Feb. 16, 2019 at 7:31 PM CST
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One of the Quad Cities' newest music venues is rocking out tonight. It's the last night of the first Moeller Nights Festival in East Moline. The festival is a rebranding of the Gas Fest which has been an annual event from music lovers in the area. In the past the festival has been at smaller venues but now that the Rustbelt is here - this festival has found it's forever home in East Moline. And it's attracting bands from across the country here to the Quad Cities.

Most bands say as soon as they walked in they were taken back by the aesthetic of the warehouse turned music venue. Organizers say they're something beautiful about repurposing something old and they love the vibe that it brings.

"Living in Nashville, I don't necessarily know if this place would be on the map for music if it wasn't for him," says Kailee Jasperson from the band The Harmaleighs.

The man behind tonight's music fest is Sean Moeller. "This has kinda been like this long thing that I've been working on for a decade or so and you know, I'm kinda not going to stop until I make this one of the best music towns in America," says Moeller.

And he has a plan for how he's going to make this dream become a reality.

"With all the different venues that I have the raccoon motel and Codfish I can kind of be with someone from the start of their career until they're pretty huge to be able to sell four thousand tickets in a smaller market like hours," Moeller tells KWQC.

The Rustbelt is the forever home for the Moeller Nights Festival.

And this warehouse turned music venue is bigger than the Adler Theatre and smaller than Taxslayer

"So we're a four-thousand cap room but we're scalable we can go down to around a thousand. we're going to be able to really grow artists here so if they do well in codfish hollow we can bump them up here and hopefully get some sold out shows and move them to Taxslayer," says Moeller Nights Inc booker Lauren Crew.

And with so much time spent on the road in hotels, in cars and on couches, artists say having a place they can keep coming back to for years to come is priceless.

"It definitely creates a sense of community if there are people are coming to see over and over again -the people who are putting together the shows you just get to know. so in the middle of a lot of discomforts and a lot of unfamiliarity there's just this ok tonight we're going to raccoon motel or the rustbelt and I know it's going to be good," says Jared Bartman of the band Moon Ruin.

And in many ways the MoellerNight's festival is the Quad Cities coming out party. Ona came to East Moline from West Virginia just for the festival.

"We've never been here before we just rode into town

all of our thoughts about it will be brand new thoughts," says Ona's Zack Owens.

"We're learning right now" says bandmate Brad Goodall.

"so far so good'," Owens added.

And Moeller Nights is multi-genres

"We had rap last night a lot of singer-songwriters, we had Lo Lo last night whos the writer for panic in the disco, she's really incredible," says Crew.

Hope Wilson grew up in the Quad Cities and was in town visit. She says she's familiar with Sean Moeller's ability to find and book amazing bands in his venues. "It's really really cool to get a new feel for all different genres of music in one place," says Wilson.

Moeller Nights Inc says music helps bring people together. And as the festival continues to grow they hope to keep presenting awesome bands to music lovers in the area

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