819 Live Entertainment, LLC a Hampton Roads based corporation founded by three Old Dominion University Monarchs, aims to entertain local college students without the threat of crime.
“We pride ourselves in our unique capability to draw large crowds of young adults while maintaining a substantial level of order and security to ensure the safety and satisfaction of our patrons,”
Alumni Andre Phelps and Gabriel Phelps and current ODU senior Marquise McChristian started the event management team in January 2011 to give college-aged students alternatives to campus parties that are often precarious. To avoid dangerous situations, the founders wanted to offer an on-campus alternative for students to enjoy.
It’s conception began in 2008 when the guys “started doing small kickbacks” for their peers in the Powhatan Apartments. The following year, they moved off campus to 39th Street and Bluestone where parties became more popular because of the larger space. They moved again the next year to 819 W. 41st St. where they had two floors, including a basement, and even hired security.
“Each event with the 819 Live Entertainment Brand supports our group specialized niche of college aged individuals (18-25) of having fun, being safe, dancing, and being rebellious not to a hierarchy but to the stresses of life such as school and work,” reads their Facebook page.
Since its inception, the company has hosted numerous events in Norfolk and Virginia Beach including book drives, organizational fundraisers, open-mic showcases, and late-night college events.
There are various places around campus where these events can take place such as the Student Recreation Center, Ted Constant Convocation Center, Webb Center etc. These venues would be ideal because they are on-campus, giving students easy access, and also would reduce the abuse of drugs and alcohol, making things more manageable for ODUPD.
They are currently hosting a book drive with the ODU chapter of NAACP, the second annual “Reading = Success” book drive. It will continue until Dec. 15 and will benefit the Norfolk and Newport News Juvenile Detention Center Libraries with the goal of increasing awareness of self education and a want for knowledge among youths.
By Sam Mohan