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‘The Void’: New downtown Casper dance venue and workshop aims to unleash creative power of young adults

The Void owner Seth Hollier in the venue's new space on Tuesday. Much work remains to be done. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — A new multi-purpose venue and creative workshop named “The Void” is moving into the space previously occupied by the Spotlight Lounge in downtown Casper.

Planning to offer everything from video game tournaments to hangout and study space to the chance to build stages for concerts by DJs and musicians flying in from New Orleans, Las Vegas or Miami, The Void aims to put tools and resources in the hands of Casper’s young adults and help unleash their creative abilities.

“I think it will be something that Casper hasn’t seen before,” owner Seth Hollier said on Tuesday inside of The Void’s new 128 E. 2nd St. home.

Hollier grew up outside of New Orleans and owns multiple businesses, including Tchoup Production, a company that specializes in building stages, lighting and visuals and offers livestreaming for concerts and festivals. Having moved to Casper in 2021, Hollier envisions The Void as a space that will become whatever young adults ages 16-20 want it to become.

“If we give the kids the tools and we give the kids the skills, they can build something on their own that’s truly theirs,” Hollier said. “They can run events themselves and make it something that they feel pride in. They can go to their friends and say, ‘Hey, that event that was put on at The Void — we did that.'”

An example of the kinds of stages, lighting and visuals that Tchoup Productions offers.

Prior to securing the new venue space, Hollier said that The Void team put on a dance night at The Bourgeois Pig called “Bourgeous After Hours” to test whether dancing and DJing might be something that appeals to Casper’s 16–20 crowd. The event was also a chance to gather feedback on what else teens and young adults want to see. High school senior Breckyn Burke-Simmons was at that event and is a partner in the venture that is bringing The Void to Casper.

Teens and young adults dancing at the “Bourgeois After Hours” event that was held before “The Void” secured its own space in downtown Casper. (Screenshot from video provided by Seth Hollier)

“It was great to see how people reacted to everything and the atmosphere,” Burke-Simmons said of the dance event. “They said they love the whole idea. They had a great time. I think the only thing people said was [they want] a bigger space.”

The lighting that was set up for the “Bourgeois After Hours” event.

“Hopefully people are going to be open-minded to some of the things we’re going to be bringing here in town.”

Hollier said that one of the things young adults have been expressing is a desire for a space to play video games together. Therefore, some of the space at The Void will be dedicated toward that purpose and will offer tournaments with prizes. There will also be construction, art and music workshops, including DJing classes. Dance classes are also expected to be a regular offering. Some of the workshops that The Void plans to offer include:

  • Intro to DJing
  • Digital Set Design
  • Physical Stage Design: Framework
  • Physical Stage Design: Foam Sculpting
  • Physical Stage Design: Painting and Color Theory
  • Digital Visual Design (Expert Level)
  • Club Lighting Tech Mentorship
  • Unconventional Art Classes
  • Monetizing Digital Design (NFT Theory and practical use cases)

Office space in the back of the building will be converted into space where people can hone video and graphic editing skills. 3-D printers and access to those may be added. There will also be opportunities to help design and build stages for monthly or bi-monthly nightclub experiences that will feature artists flown in from around the country to give young adults a taste of big city night life. Karaoke nights are being planned for Thursdays.

“It’s easy to consume,” Hollier said. “It’s a lot more gratifying to create and and that’s kind of what we’re looking to do for that demographic is give them the tools and skill set to be able to create.”

There will be study space and diner-style food available. While The Void will primarily cater to people 16–20 years old, Hollier says that The Void will also offer an after-hours sober space with food and dancing available to Casper’s 21+ crowd on Fridays and Saturdays.

“The idea being: Let’s try and keep people from drinking and driving and give them a space that they can come to if they still want to dance and hang out,” Hollier said. “They can dance and hang out but also get food in their stomach, give them some time away from the alcohol to sober up.”

Hangout and study space will be open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily once The Void opens. Hollier said that the hope is to have the space ready to start facilitating workshops and events later this spring, hopefully by the end of April. Conversion of the space includes adding extensive lighting, a new LED dance floor, and more.

Whatever The Void is when it opens, Hollier said that it may morph as young adults bring in new ideas about what they want it to become.

“If they decide later on down the road that, you know, they’re not interested in events and they want it to be more of a maker space, we’ll adapt to the vision that they have,” he said. “It’s all about being what those kids need it to be at any given time and we’ll have a suggestion box and we’ll have active discussions with kids on a regular basis to understand if we are hitting the marks. … If not, that’s totally fine. We’ll adjust and we’ll make it whatever it needs to be.”

In terms of costs, Hollier said that the teen hangout/study space will always be free. The Void will charge fees for events in the $10–$15 price range. Classes will also have fees.

“Money from those classes will go to the artist teaching those classes,” Hollier said.

Hollier said that The Void doesn’t need to become “extremely profitable,” as his other businesses can help foot the bills.

“This was set up originally through the state as a low for-profit business,” he said. “It’s really more of a community space that my company and my business ventures are going to sustain long-term. We’re going to give it five years, you know, and we’ll see what it looks like. If there’s still a need then, we’ll still be here, but we’re in it for at least five years. We may grow out of this space, but in the Casper community, yeah, we’re here for the long run.”

Hollier asked that any artists, organizations or others interested in working with The Void reach out to talk about ways they can work together. Contact information is available on The Void’s website.