In an emergency, you dial 911.
When you need road information, you dial 511. For directory assistance, it’s 411.
But what’s the code for fun in the Rochester area?
As of Thursday, it’s 507.
That’s what we’re calling our new weekly arts, entertainment and what’s-to-do magazine, which will be part of the Post-Bulletin every Thursday, and we’ll also distribute copies free on news racks at more than 40 restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and other businesses around the Rochester area.
That’s just for starters. If this thing grows the way we expect it will, you’ll find it on news racks all around southeastern Minnesota, in and out of the 507 area code. (That means you, 651 area code residents … the name on the cover is 507, but we’ll have all your events, features and things-to-do information as well.)
As you’d expect, you’ll also find 507 online and on mobile as well. The mobile 507 version is a very big piece of this — we want 507 to be the place you go to when you’re out and about and looking for something to do. Showtimes? Ticket prices? It’s all there.
507 is a tabloid, first of all — 24 pages, all color and as close to a metro-area alternative weekly as we can make it while keeping it a part of the daily paper. The design is fresh and out-of-the-box; section editor Jeff Pieters will make it fast and fun to read, and the heart of it will be the most complete go-and-do calendar you’ll find in the region.
507 will prove the point that there’s plenty going on in southeastern Minnesota, week in and week out. Five or 10 years ago, people had a reasonable beef about there being too little to do, but those days are gone. There’s live music, theater, comedy, open-mic poetry readings, art openings, festivals, Civic Center events and more going just about every day and night in the Rochester area.
There’ll be even more as Destination Medical Center development gets going. The time is right for 507 to be your guide to what’s happening.
The magazine will include features that have been in the Thursday Stage & Screen section, such as the Med City Movie Guy column and a quick-hit guide to what’s going on in the Twin Cities. The latter will expand to include a weekly feature and a more complete look at major metro events.
We’re also moving some columns into 507 from Friday’s After Dark section, including Kimberly Van Brunt’s Quick Bites restaurant column and the Cocktail Hour column. Plus the monthly Four Stars restaurant column by yours truly will move from Tuesday’s Mealtime section and become a weekly part of 507’s dining out coverage.
Among the new features you’ll find is a column by Bryan Lund about Rochester area bands, where they’re playing, what they’re up to and when their next CD is coming out. Again, you might believe there’s not that much going on in live music around the area. We’re out to dispel that myth, too.
As I mentioned, we’ll also flip the switch Thursday on wordpress-6509-30465-74728.cloudwaysapps.com, which packs all the content into an attractive, new website. If you go to that address on your tablet or smartphone, you’ll get a well-optimized version with the most complete information on-the-go for what’s going on.
So, to recap, look for 507 in Thursday’s paper. Don’t look for Stage & Screen on Thursday or After Dark on Friday — I’ll tell you more about the Friday section later this week. Get ready to bookmark 507 on your computer, and add it to your smartphone homepage.
This is a big deal for the Post-Bulletin, and we’re depending on your feedback to help us make it as complete and useful as possible. After you take a look, send a note or call me and we’ll talk.
Jay Furst is the Post-Bulletin’s managing editor. Send questions to P.O. Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.