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New venue lets Lumpkin County rock out
0403Prospector
Black Electric Lemonade, from Cornelia, perform March 22 at Prospector Hall, a new rock venue in Dahlonega. - photo by For The Times
Dahlonega has a new music venue that is catering to the young and rockin’ along with the more mature and eclectic.

Prospector Hall, which has been open for about the last year and a half, is now really hitting the local music scene with a range of guitar and bass-driven beats.

"It was an auction house and it was built maybe six years ago," said owner Fred Ridsdale. "I built a 10 by 24 foot stage, and I’ve had some little theater in there and some techno nights with a DJ, and I’ve also ... had some bluegrass, Appalachian, Celtic for an older crowd.

"I came into town and saw what was going on ... and I was like, ‘I could build a bigger stage with a little bit different atmosphere.’"

Ridsdale, a recent South Florida transplant, said Prospector Hall will continue with a variety of entertainment for both the young and older crowds in Dahlonega.

"There used to be a place here called Strings ‘n’ Things, and it’s been going on for seven and a half years," he said. "I’m going to keep along that same concept — it was sort of country, folksy, bluegrassy, Appalachiany type music. So I’m going to try and fill that void once a month with an older crowd and the other weekends I’m going to have something for teenagers and younger adults."

Prospector Hall was originally created as a place for young adults to jam on the weekends in a safe environment.

"The parents can go have dinner and a movie knowing that there is other supervising and other chaperones there," said Ridsdale, a single father of a 16-year-old. "Parents can be relieved that there is a place where their kids can get dropped off for four hours or so and looked after and make sure they are not out doing drugs or getting drunk."

Lockdown, a hard rock band based in Dahlonega, has a show at the venue on Saturday and supports entertainment for the younger folks of Lumpkin County.

"We are just happy we can do something for the kids because there is so much that kids can get into these days," said Drew Haney, Lockdown guitarist.

The band plans on playing all original songs, like "Addiction" and "Break These Chains," on Saturday.

"‘Addiction,’ the title gets people a little scared but the song is telling a story about how you get sucked into the whole addiction thing but you get through it," Haney said. "‘Break These Chains’ is kind of just in your face."

Members of Lockdown include lead vocalist Daniel Yawn, Haney, drummer Chris Sullivan and bassist Jesse Rebholz.

Autumn Sky is set to open for Lockdown.

Local bands Acid Rain and Royal Family are scheduled to play Prospector Hall on April 19.

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