As a parent, I’m always on the lookout for interesting birthday party ideas for my kids. We don’t do anything too over-the-top (no TLC reality show parties for me) but I do try to make each event new and unconventional. We’ve celebrated birthdays at a nature center, a downtown candy shop, and even a fire station. I have an 8-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl – one of whom has a winter birthday that usually requires an indoor party – so I was excited to find out that a new recording studio recently opened that books birthday parties for kids ages 7 to 99.
Star Studios at 1224 Mangrove Ave. in Chico opened its doors March 1, and the party business is called “Be A Star.” Parents can choose from a variety of party packages, which start at $299 for up to 10 participants. This is the only birthday party service of its kind in the North State. All packages include the use of dress-up rock star costumes for both girls and boys, and a chance to record a real song in the studio.
Guests and the birthday star get to take home a copy of the CD recorded with their friends. Additional services include food, video recording, “Red Carpet” paparazzi shoots and an individual “Super Stars” photo shoot. Limo service is another option, and is particularly a good idea for “stars” coming from outside of Chico.
The idea was the brainchild of Wes Bristol of Magalia, a recently retired pastor with a background in music. Bristol, grandfather to twin 8-year-olds Alyssa and Brianna and 18-year-old Tori, came up with the idea when the twins were playing around with some musical instruments he had in his home.
“My background as a musician, along with the singing passion I’ve seen in my grandkids, inspired the idea,” says Bristol, who plays keyboards, harmonica and sings in two bands, the Good News Blues and Black Diamond. His wife and business partner, Donna, frequently sings in their church.
“What is unique about Be A Star is that it offers an alternative to the party ideas that are out there,” says Bristol. “How many people get to record in a real studio?”
Be A Star staff takes care of all the event details, even the music and setup. All music is tastefully kid-friendly, and there is even Christian music available. “Parents need to know that this is a safe environment for all,” Bristol says. Space inside the studio is limited, but there is room outdoors for an indoor/outdoor party during good weather.
The studio’s equipment includes a state-of-the-art Pro Tools HD system with a Digidesign Control 24 automated mixing board. In layman’s terms: great sound quality. “It’s the best in the business,” Bristol says. He hires engineers to do the recording, and the studio offers full production services. Be A Star will even print custom CD labels for your child’s birthday party. In addition, a variety of musical instruments are available for kids to play.
You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the facilities! The recording studio has competitive rates for anyone wishing to cut a demo, and Be A Star recording parties are a great way to celebrate a graduation, bachelorette party, or a “grownup” birthday bash. The possibilities are endless, and Bristol encourages anyone interested to call to discuss details – the event can be tailored to almost any occasion.
“I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was very young,” says Bristol, who also owns Johnny’s Lock and Safe and the business plaza in which his enterprises are located. “I’m at a point in life where I want to slow down and help others achieve their musical aspirations.” He adds, “Whether kids or adults, songwriters or studio recording parties – what better way to have fun? Music has always been common ground for everyone.”
Come visit the studio at their June 9 grand opening. Be a Star is booking parties and is offering a 25% discount for a limited time. To schedule your party or
to find out more, call Star Studios at (530) 520-4935.