The Beachland Ballroom Celebrates 15 Years of Music and Community Building

Mark Leddy and Cindy Barber
Mark Leddy and Cindy Barber
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British rocker Glen Tillbrook got a Cleveland crowd going several years ago when he gave a musical tribute to the very club where he was singing

MUSIC: Beachland Ballroom UP & UNDER

The Beachland Ballroom was born back in 2000, in an old watering hole in the Waterloo district on the east side of town. Cindy Barber and Mark Leddy created their club as a way of reviving a neighborhood struggling through hard economic times. Barber says she patterned the Beachland after Cleveland Public Theater's success in renewing a westside community.

CINDY BARBER: And I thought, let's look at my neighborhood. Here's an old Croation social hall --- we can turn it into a music venue and this neighborhood can be based on music.

Since then, the Waterloo District has sprouted music shops, art galleries, eating spots, and a five-and-a-half million dollar streetscape overhaul. But, the Beachland has endured some rough patches along the way. Challenges include the arrival in 2005 of a House of Blues club downtown combined with the competition from two new music venues in the Flats. But Barber's partner Mark Leddy is taking the new competition in stride.

MARK LEDDY: I don't think all of these clubs can make it, I think the best ones will survive, and we hope to be one of those.

The club is planning a weekend full of anniversary concerts to celebrate 15 years of survival.

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