Among the first handful of events to be held at Intrust Bank Arena will be a night of music on Tuesday showcasing 12 Wichita-area bands and artists.
Organizers, which include the local music-producing outfit known as Rokict, hope that at least 3,000 people will turn out for the free event.
"It would be really nice if this wasn't something that just happened once," said Jared Brickman, who founded Rokict last year. "It's my hope that this event will be a success and we'd have the opportunity to do this once a year, or more."
The music starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday with one headlining band performing in the arena bowl and other bands performing in the corridors around the arena, he said. The three headlining bands will play for about 45 minutes each.
"The arena wants people to feel free to check out the place, mingle and learn more about it," Brickman said.
Several food vendors in the arena will be selling food and beverages, he said.
Jason Dilts, a Rokict member (who also is a freelance writer for The Eagle), came up with the idea last summer for a local music night in the 15,000-seat arena, Brickman said. The venue will have its first concert Saturday, with Brad Paisley headlining.
One of the arena's hopes, said spokeswoman Sarah Haertl, is to excite young people about the venue and get them to attend events there. With that in mind, the arena was eager to work with Rokict on the local music event.
"Hosting a music night for that generation was in step with our philosophy," she said.
Rokict hopes that the event will raise awareness of local musicians while giving them a major platform for their artistry, Brickman said.
"While the arena is a big space, and yes, we're going to be pulling in some big national artists, we want to make sure that they still consider the local talent whenever possible," he said. "The artists who come in will usually have an opening act but there will be opportunities here and there for a local artist to be part of a big production."
Among the headlining bands next week will be Polar Opposite Bear, which is looking forward to a chance to perform in such a large venue, said frontman Matthew Wiseman.
"We're used to playing in basements and VFW halls across the country," he said. "That's fine because we're usually playing to like-minded people and it's more about that than it is about being big rock stars. But it's every little boy's fantasy who's ever picked up a guitar to play in a place like this. It's awesome that we get to do that."
If you go>
Local music night at intrust bank arena
What: A night of music featuring 12 Wichita bands and artists
Where: Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman
When: 6 p.m. Tuesday
How much: Free. All ages admitted.
Big Clyde Sheely & Rib Bone
Polar Opposite Bear
Lisa Hittle Trio Jazz
Aaron Lee Martin
Scott Allen Knost