Best Of 2021

Best New Venue to Open in the Past 12 Months: The Factory

The Factory
You can forgive those who initially were skeptical about the prospect of a major new venue opening in Chesterfield. For years, the St. Louis County suburb has been best known as the spot where two outlet malls fought to the death for control of a flood plain, with city-dwelling types loath to visit. And while some of those folks will surely still grumble, the opening of the freshly built 3,000-capacity venue the Factory (17105 North Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield; 314-423-8500) in July rapidly silenced many of its critics. With a thoughtful layout, a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, and an exclusive booking deal with veteran production company Contemporary Productions, the Factory quickly filled its upcoming shows roster with a slew of heavy-hitting acts — Deadmau5, the Roots, New Found Glory, Marc Rebillet, Nikki Glaser, just to name a few — and definitively made the case for why St. Louis music fans should consider venturing west of I-270. —Daniel Hill