The Portsmouth Daily Times reported of new management at the Columbia venue on February 08, in which native MJ Brickey-Godfrey, of Texas-based Meta Mojo, had allegedly signed a purchase agreement contract with Lee and Christine Scott to manage the space until a purchase would be made in the future. Since then, the Scotts have pulled from the agreement, according to Brickey-Godfrey, citing financial reasons. Despite this, Brickey-Godfrey says the show will go on.
The Shawnee alum, Brickey-Godfrey, who works in the entertainment industry, hosted Nashville’s Jacob Bryant, as part of his “Bar Stool Preacher” tour with Greenup’s Jonathan Cox opening on February 10. The manager hired Portsmouth Police Department for security, as well as had her own head of security, and welcomed 250 guests between 6 and 9:30 p.m.
The manager had big plans on treating the space as a venue that served alcohol, rather than a bar, telling the Times, “We plan to bring quality entertainment to Portsmouth, Scioto County, and the surrounding area, including live music, comedy, films, family events, and things like ‘Ohio State nights,’ where we project the game on a large screen and do a game night fair and fun,” Brickey-Godfrey said. “Also, ‘Townie Tuesday’ will be local acoustic sets geared at sharing with other locals, tourists, and college students.”
The business disillusion has gone amicably, per Brickey Godfrey.
“Realistically, of course I’m disappointed, but I completely understand the Scotts’ decision to pull. They’ve got to do the best thing for themselves, their businesses, and their employees. All I can ask is that they do their best within their financial need,” Brickey-Godfrey said “With that, I’m also very excited about the response from the public People are so hungry for entertainment and the ability to draw in people Portsmouth may not be able to. I was immediately receiving call from people asking if I can help.”
Brickey-Godfrey says the concert she threw was successful and she had a positive time managing the venue and isn’t done in the area just yet.
“It kindled something further. A lot of people asked for this and saw my announcement and asked me to not leave. I’ve had five businesses solidly reach out to me to say they’re interested in me putting entertainment in their venues,” Brickey-Godfrey stated. “There are businesses in the area that want Meta Mojo to put some of the entertainment we can access into their venues. All businesses are interested in putting together a commerce-based plan that puts Portsmouth on the map as a stop as an Appalachian, rustbelt music center for music all over the country.”
Meta Mojo is currently planning for a concert at the Vern Riffe Center.
“We’re not done. We just booked a show for April 15 at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Chris Turner will be playing, and Rick Ferrell will be opening for him. Rick Ferrell wrote the song “All in the Same Boat” and Chris is going to come up and sing it with Rick together on stage. That’ll be fun,” Brickey-Godfrey said. “We’re going to make the theme about a songwriter from our town writing a song that is doing very well on Spotify. We’re going to make it about those two being in the same place at the same time in a river city. There will be alcohol and merch sales.”
Brickey-Godfrey said in an initial interview that booking entertainment for Portsmouth comes with a lot of heart and she is eager to find her place in making Portsmouth a destination for music and a night out.
“A downtown should represent what a city and surrounding area treasurers most,” Brickey-Godfrey said. “To name a few things — culture, commerce, education, entertainment, and the future. We need safe venues and cityscapes for not only the people of Portsmouth but the students that bring revenue to the area. Shawnee State University has hundreds of residential students from outside of Scioto County who live on campus and near downtown who would welcome a new entertainment venue.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved