As part of The Outpost Manifesto says: "We are not a venue We are not a pharmacy We certainly aren't a collective We are everything combined We are the people that believe in connection We believe every small place has big ideas We believe the side of the road is as good as the end.."
If you are ever driving down I-10 going west, then you will notice a black house with white palm trees painted on the outside of it, next to a a gas station. Many people wonder what it is. I get asked all the time. Well, it's The Outpost and, no, it's not a bar. That house is owned and created by a company in New York called The Participation Agency. I recently caught up with one of the managers of The Outpost and here is some of the insight he provided.
This is a sophisticated road stop for musicians who are touring. Musicians use this space however they want, whether it is recording something, hanging out, chilling or even doing their laundry. This, by no means, means that it is a hotel or a place to stay over, rather it is a "cool hub" and El Paso was chosen for The Outpost because bands are constantly passing through here.
The inspiration for this place came from a lot of different places. The creative director behind this is Jessica R., and she created the aesthetic and visuals of this place. There is a lot of creative freedom in the Outpost. Lots of brands have donated things for this and the bands. It's just meant to be high-end.
There is a lot of local art and things throughout the Outpost. While trying to set up the amazing decoration for this place, this agency went ahead and tried to pin-point the best people for this project. Lots of local musicians and business owners are part of this project.It's all about reaching out to the local community.
The Outpost has had local musicians and traveling bands that have been there as well. Not only do musicians go use the space for themselves, but there are some musicians that go there to preform. The Outpost hopes to have some parties soon and an open house, which they want to extend to the local community, yet keep somewhat exclusive. Some artists themselves will invite people there via their social media. For example JMSN was at The Outpost about two months ago and he invited the first thirty people that rsvp'd. It was a hit and The Participation Agency hopes to continue doing this.
I asked the manager to touch on a certain confusion that there was regarding whether bands could stay over. He said that the confusion comes from the fact that they have other places in different cities like The Outpost yet they are called The Patch and there they can stay over. This agency wants to help bands out as much as they can while touring, especially smaller bands and artists. Touring and lodging can get very expensive, and this is a way to help out with that.
Any band is welcome to stop by The Outpost, it is actually encouraged. There is no set requirement per say, but they do look for bands that are coming through El Paso and are heading somewhere for a show. A lot of the times The Participation Agency reaches out to the bands themselves and they want to make it clear that there is no catch. It's all part of bringing an "authentic and organic experience".