Heading for Higherground

Story by Emily Gresbrink

Higherground, the university’s student-run nightclub and lounge, underwent renovations over winter break and will be debuting a series of all-new sound and light equipment and image makeovers this weekend in a grand re-opening party.

“[The equipment] was all outdated,” sophomore club manager Sarah Koenekamp said. “We mainly focused on the audio and upgraded it to 21st century quality. It gives our DJs a place to do a lot more for audio tech.”

The DJ booth itself is new as well. The booth, built from scratch last semester, bears the new Higherground logo (a stylized HG, after the nickname accumulated around campus) and hosts a series of new sound and light equipment.

Junior Jake Broesch, club manager, explained that the new sound equipment included motorized turntables, mix decks and mix pieces (for altering sound and audio output). Additionally, other new audio outputs make the club capable of hosting other venues, such as comedians or live bands, and four subwoofers installed into the ceiling create a heavier bass than before.

“There is concrete under the new ceiling tiles, so all of that bass heads straight down to the dance floor,” Broesch said. “When people feel that bass, as opposed to hearing it like before, they will stay.”
Additionally, new touch screen computers operate the lighting system, which hang on all-new trusses.

“When the new lights are here, Higherground could potentially be the premiere dance venue in the Eau Claire area,” Broesch said.

Koenekamp said she hopes that the new changes to the venue will bring in even more numbers.

“The numbers have definitely increased,” Broesch added. “On busy nights, we average around 220 people and the past few weekends [with the new sound system], we’ve met capacity (300 people) and had to shut the doors.”

Higherground’s grand re-opening dance parties will occur Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m., with free glow bracelets and prizes all night; free soft drinks and snacks will be available until 11 p.m. On Sunday at 5:30 p.m., the venue will host a Super Bowl XLV party on its large projection screen with free soft drinks and snacks during the game.