Otherworld to expand, add 2,000-person music venue

The expansion will bring the immersive East Side art space to a robust 58,000 square feet

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Jordan Renda, founder and creative director of Otherworld

Otherworld, the immersive art and technology installation that opened on the East Side in 2019, just announced a massive expansion.

In a Facebook post, Otherworld wrote that it would break ground on an additional 26,000 square feet next door, ultimately bringing the exhibit space up to a robust 58,000 square feet. A 2,000-person, art- and tech-infused music venue is also included in the expansion plans. The music venue should make Otherworld an even bigger player in the Columbus concert scene as live shows return to indoor settings, which some have predicted could happen as early as this fall.

No information regarding an opening date for the expansion was immediately available.

When Alive last spoke with Otherworld founder Jordan Renda in June 2020, a week before he re-opened the space following a COVID-driven, three-month shutdown, he compared the feeling among his team members with the electricity that existed in the run up to the grand opening.

“Once we were able to get the team back in the building, it kind of feels like this time last year, when we were building and getting the place ready to open. It has that same energy now,” he said at the time. “We're all working and we're building this new stuff and excited for people to finally come out and see it. It's a weird parallel to last year, but also a lot of the same struggles, like running out of financing and trying to figure out a way to keep everything moving.”

It sounds like that sensation will continue to roll through 2021 and beyond. In addition to the newly expanded space, the Facebook post also teased that there was even more news to come ("Can you guess where we're going next?!"). 

UPDATE: Renda said the first phase of the expansion, encompassing an additional 10,000 square feet of new exhibits, as well as the concert space, will likely open in the first quarter of 2022. "From that point, we'd continue opening new rooms every couple of months until we run out of space," he said in an email. In the interim, Otherworld will continue to host concerts in its existing space, with bookings currently being made for October.

The site of the future Otherworld expansion