by Tony Bennett
In the opening months of 2016, in a part of Duluth a bit off the eaten path, a few well-known local businesses assembled in a large are house location to build something new together: The Hub for Event Logistics.
Located in the Irving area, just kitty-corner from Loll Designs, The Hub is an umbrella company that aims to be a one-stop shop for anyone who is looking to put on an event, no matter how large or small. Sound Central is a 16-year veteran in local sound and light that boasts a massive warehouse full of gear, T&E Concert Services is a backline company with all the amps and drums that anyone could ever need, Audio Visual Resources is a longtime business that specializes in projection, sound, video, and media conversion, and Visto Video is an upstart videography company. Together, they make up The Hub, a place that aims to provide a solution to any kind of event need that can arise.
“Sound Central was established in 2001 when I moved back to the Twin Ports after a stint in the Twin Cities playing music and having a small audio and lighting company,” Trent Edgerton, a founding partner of the company, says. Early on, it was about a “vision of providing production for concerts. It quickly grew into providing audio, lighting, and staging for any size event locally and nationally.”
He’s not kidding: Sound Central regularly goes on the road to assist a wide variety of big-name musicians with their productions, as well as providing similar services for local events. They’ve also worked things no less prestigious as the campaigns of Al Gore and George W. Bush. To be sure, they’ve got some serious experience.
Travis Johnson is the man behind T&E Concert Services. He used to be a chef until his love for production and live music overpowered his love for the culinary arts. His company is one that splintered off of Sound Central some time ago.
“T&E primarily provides backline and instrument-rental services nationwide,” Johnson says. “We also provide pro audio services for 50 to 60 shows each summer for Big Top Chautauqua in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I’ve also worked in conjunction with Sound Central and Audio Visual Resources on past presidential campaign rallies, numerous festivals, and multifaceted events.”
Brita Edgerton caught the AV bug while working with her husband, Trent, on his side project Twin Ports Outdoor Movies, which produces the “Movies in the Park” event in Duluth’s Leif Erickson Park in the summers. Her background in television as on-air talent and behind-the-scenes event planner for PBS has served her well in her new capacity with Audio Visual Resources, which is her main responsibility at The Hub. She says that the move to Duluth and the formation of the “Hub” umbrella has been long in the works.
“The concept of The Hub had been of interest to both Trent and I even prior to acquiring AVR,” she says. “We had already developed a network of like-minded businesses in the events-service industry. Logistically, having our businesses physically in one place made it easier to coordinate equipment and gear. Providing a literal and figurative hub for any AV, staging, or event-production elements is the service we wanted to provide for our community through the creation of The Hub.”
“The best part of our job is all the events we get to be a part of,” Brita Edgerton says. “Whether it’s boardrooms, back yards, concerts, conferences, celebrations, or worship centers, it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of the announcements, entertainment, and education of our community.”