In a city full of nightclubs, bars and parties, Pola Bunster wanted a place to just enjoy music. So she created The Listening Den, a raw space, free from distractions or glam, where people would be free to fully appreciate the work of musicians.
On Aug. 31, the Den officially opened at Ace Props House + Studios (398 NW 78th St.) Miami native Keith Johns and Atlanta singer Macy Todd, took to the stage to welcome the audience to this one-of-a-kind venue.
Bunster, co-founder of Prism Creative Group, a marketing group, partnered with Ace Props House + Studios to create The Listening Den.
“We wanted to do a live music listening studio,” Bunster said. “There are very few places where music is the focal point. We asked for no phones and to be quiet because it’s really not hard to enjoy the night without any background noise. There is nowhere in Miami like this.”
Ace Props House + Studios is an equipment rental agency that provides props to brands such as Versace by day, then transforms into a swanky, sexy and intimate space equipped with Victorian-style couches and a speakeasy bar. Red lights, giant neon signs and a wall of props created a laid back, hipster environment.
After the bouncer checked names off the RSVP list, guests were handed a card with a list of “house rules.” It included: no disrupting the music, keep your phone in your pants, use your library voice to order a drink, and most importantly, respect the vibes of the listening party.
Guests were all ages, from young adults to older couples enjoying a date night. They sipped Beck’s Beer and Red Bull, who sponsored the event, and munched on hand-crafted snacks like ice cream sandwiches and waffles.
The opening act, acoustic band Keith Johns, has a Vance Joy or John Mayer vibe. The band is a regular at the Miami Flea market. They performed original songs as well as a cover of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley and an acoustic version of “Hey Ya” by OutKast.
“This is a new venue with new music that we never played before,” said drummer Matt Davis.
If you’re looking for a low-key, fun night out, the Listening Den is the way to go. To attend the next session, stay updated on their website, prismcreativegroup.com. The event is free, but make sure to RSVP so you’re guaranteed a spot. Grab a beer, a friend and relax at Miami’s first all-music listening venue.