Friend and content creator Vivienne Daguerre tapped me about her new collaborative venture, Roxeter, located on her own region, bearing the same name and which is also still the home to her Black Rose brand.
“Roxeter is intended to be a place supporting and featuring SL artists and live musicians,” Vivienne informed me, “and in future we hope to add writers and theatre performances to the list.”
Having opened in March, Roxeter already offers a number of indoor and outdoor venues for music and live performances, and the theatre is currently under construction, with work progressing well.
The region itself has something of a New England feel to it, with the core venues built around a small town-like locale centred around two squares. The first of these features an open air café which offers something of a social hub, around which sit a small number of commercial properties, the Roxeter library, and the pub (which offers an indoor venue for music) with the black rose radio station and media centre right next door. Beyond these sits an open-air music venue flanked on the one side by a large events stage built out over a beach, and on the other by the theatre.
The second square, this one with a fountain as its central feature, can be found behind the library building, with the Roxeter Place for the Visual Arts facing the library facade across it. At the time of my visit, Roxeter Place featured small displays of works by Darkyn Dover and John (Johannes1977), both of whom I admire for their exceptional photography, and Altarn Damon Bach – whom I admit is a new name to me, but whose work is equally stunning.
Community is very much a part of Vivienne’s focus in Second Life, and this is reflected in the fact that not only offers venues to the arts and music communities, but uphill from the Roxeter Place for the Visual Arts still a number of private houses available for rent to interested parties (please keep in mind some are already occupied); there is a small realtor’s office down in the town offering details of the available lots. Finally, and as no town should be without one, just across a narrow stream sits the local church and manse. The latter is also a private residence, so again, do keep that in mind when visiting, although you might want to look around the church grounds for the entrance to the catacombs below!
From this description, you might think everything sounds a little cramped in the region. Well, not so; considerable time and effort has gone into developing Roxeter and its venues, so the entire region has a feeling of open spaces as well as having something of a small town look. Indeed, with the off-sim islands on one side and craggy peaks on the other, the entire effect is that of being in a coastal town as it looks out over the open sea.
A major aspect of Roxeter is that it is entirely non-profit: the region is paid for entire out of the revenue generated by Vivienne’s Black Rose store (which is located high overhead and can be reached by the teleport point inside the little Black Rose shop in the town), with the aim of the venues here being, as Vivienne described, to promote music and the arts in Second Life and provide a means by which artists, musicians, DJ’s the theatre groups can present their music and work.
Obviously, operating a group of venues like this takes time and effort, and Vivienne has brought together a team of talented individuals to help keep Roxeter moving forward. Freya Lovenkraft is managing the live entertainments, and has started a video series, Behind the SL Music, hosted at Roxeter’s Black Rose Radio, in which she interviews and chats to people from SL’s music industry. Her first interview, with Mason Thorne, is available for viewing.
Artist Shakti Adored curates the Roxeter Place for Visual Arts, while Ercila Robbins manages the library, which had a literary / knowledge focus. Filling out the current team is Trinity Taryn Ansome, who is Roxeter’s Second Life Arts, Music and Culture blogger.
All told, Roxeter is quite a superb undertaking with an already very impressive events calendar. There is also an in-world group to keep abreast of news and event notices, while all the latest from the region can also be found on the Roxeter web site.
If you’re looking for a new music / arts / theatre venue, then this is a place you should definitely make a point of visiting.