Heartwood Soundstage

Musicians’ dream venue delivers on all levels.

Written By Cynthia McFarland

Poor acoustics are a musician’s worst nightmare, and all too often when we go out to hear live music, the sound doesn’t live up to expectations. 

That’s never the case at Heartwood Soundstage in Gainesville. Their one-of-a-kind music lineup takes place in a venue built by musicians for musicians. The result is a memorable performance every time—for both performers and the audience.

Heartwood Soundstage opened in February 2017, but the idea germinated earlier.

Long-time musician and recording engineer Bob McPeek owned Mirror Image Recording Studio where he worked with standout local acts like Sister Hazel, Bo Diddley, Less than Jake and others. 

“Bob and I started having conversations about the lack of a really good acoustical space for live performances in Gainesville,” says Dave Melosh, a musician and one of the owners of Heartwood Soundstage. “We were both recording engineers. Our idea was to open a live recording studio, which we expanded to be able to have a small studio audience.” 

Bob saw their vision completed before he passed away last October.

Thanks to the world-class sound system and the best microphones on the planet, it’s truly an audiophile experience featuring a healthy variety of music styles.

In addition to the indoor stage, there’s an outdoor venue with festival seating that accommodates 2,000 people. Shows average 90 minutes to two hours long, and ticket prices vary by show, starting at $10. Food is sold on-site, and there’s a wide selection of beer and wine available. Depending on the show, the audience can be seated or standing. For example, when the salsa orchestra performs, everyone’s on their feet!

During the fall and spring, the venue features live music two to three nights a week.

A major event is the annual Tom Petty Weekend, scheduled for October 20-22 this year.

“We have people from all over the world come for that event,” says Dave. “It’s the festival of the official Tom Petty Fan Club.” 

The venue’s Nashville-based talent buyer, Andrew Hall, has already booked five national acts for one week in January 2024.

“People come to Heartwood because we book artists that give you chill bumps,” says Dave. “We’ve worked hard to be a community-centered organization. A lot of our bookings come from artists, musicians and fans in Gainesville. It’s a very organic experience. It’s a sacred space. People come first and foremost to experience the music.” 

Heartwood Soundstage

619 S Main Street, Gainesville

(352) 258-8557