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Save Our Stages: The Odyssey continues at the Outland Complex

October 07, 2020

If you’ve been down South Avenue lately, you’ve seen some changes to the Outland Complex. It’s more than just cosmetic.

Downtown Springfield’s long-running live music facilities are getting some external and internal upgrades and they’ll soon be joined by a new walk-up dessert and pizza place.

Goodbye FOH, hello Odyssey

The Outland crew is rebranding Front Of House Lounge, formerly known as the Highlife. That space, on the north side of the complex, is now known as Odyssey Lounge. The team, in a social media post, calls it a “completely redone all-ages venue and lounge with a redone layout, increased seating, and with all new tech upgrades throughout.”

While the Outland Complex figures out how and when shows will return, they’ll open Odyssey as a nightly lounge from 7 p.m.-1 a.m., except for Sundays. It’s first day of business will be Friday, Oct. 9, with a ticketed event from 7-10 p.m. and then as a bar after. Saturday, Oct. 10, will feature a live DJ set from music promoter, Johan Collins and friends. More events and live acts will be announced soon.

“We will be focused on being a hangout spot, doing open mic, having karaoke, movie nights and DJ sets while we slowly easy back into full band shows,” the post said.

Feel the Sweet Emotion

For the first time in the complex’s history, you’ll be able to buy food. And not just any food. We’re talking ice cream, fruit whip and, eventually, pizza.

Sweet Emotion will be opening soon on the Odyssey Lounge side of the Outland Complex for outside/inside walk-up service. They Pop Punk/Emo-themed ice cream parlor will serve oat milk-based ice creams and fruit Dream Whips. The ice creams are 100% vegan and are nut, dairy and gluten free.

“Featured combos will be influenced by popular bands/songs and we will collab directly with bands when they come to play Springfield,” their announcement said.

But that’s not all. Sweet Emotion will also serve pizza by the slice from Springfield favorite The Big Slice. Regular and vegan options will be available.

“We will be a late-night, until-bar-call quick serve food option for those out and about either at one of our shows or Downtown late at your favorite local bars,” according to Sweet Emotion’s Facebook page.

The opening date and hours will be announced soon.

Upgrades all around

The Outland and Outland Ballroom are still around and, thanks to hard work from the Outland Complex crew, they will be better than ever.

That means cosmetic and tech upgrades, as well as a concept change for The Outland. Those rooms will reopen in phases.

“We want to make sure these rooms remain the ones you’ve loved over the past several decades and moving forward,” the team said on social media.

Expect special precautions as the COVID pandemic continues. That means masks, temperature checks, hand sanitizer stations and limited capacity.

Keep your eyes on the social media pages for The Outland, Outland Ballroom, Odyssey Lounge and Sweet Emotion for updated information.