In mid-July a quiet deal was struck transferring ownership of Portland House of Music and Events (PHOME) from longtime club and music promoter Ken Bell.
Bell has been a staple of the Portland live music scene for well over a decade, as an owner-operator of The Big Easy and PHOME. In 2013 the Big Easy was forced to close after a new agreement could not be met with the building owner.
Later in 2015, Bell reemerged, ever committed to nurturing the Portland, Maine music scene. In the former Minott’s Flower space, Portland House of Music and Events materialized; a new, larger venue ready to continue the work the Big Easy had started.
Bell made use of the acronym, highlighting the word HOME, as a tribute to the Big Easy. For many musicians, the Big Easy had always felt like home.
As PHOME transfers to new leadership, Portland music lovers can rest assured that new owner, Patrick Calabro, holds a similar vision to that of Bell.
“Ken Bell is a Portland music legend. He did so much good work to build the strong, tight-knit local scene that the city enjoys today, ” said Calabro.
Calabro, is no newcomer to concert promotion. With ten years of experience, ranging from Director of Booking and Marketing to Events and Festivals Consultant, he has brought national touring acts to venues in New York, Vegas, Aspen, and London.
Calabro will maintain the key elements that have made PHOME one of Portland’s most loved music venues, including a focus on showcasing local talent.
“I am excited to step in and continue his [Bell] mission, fostering the growth and success of local bands while simultaneously working to attract regional and national acts to the PHOME stage.”