First Avenue owner and CEO Dayna Frank

Dayna Frank


First Avenue




2021, Alumni: Teaming up with YouTube on virtual concerts and hosting private weddings at the iconic First Avenue is but a small part of Dayna Frank’s pandemic pivot. Frank has become the voice of her industry, setting up and leading the National Independent Venue Association and lobbying on behalf of small music clubs across the country. She believes the advocacy group will buoy venues long after the threat of Covid has passed.

2019, Titan: No local company holds greater sway over the Twin Cities live entertainment scene than First Avenue. But it wasn’t always that way. About 15 years ago, Dayna Frank’s father, Byron, who spent years as First Avenue’s accountant and eventual co-owner, was embroiled in a bankruptcy suit with fellow co-owner Allan Fingerhut. After the dispute was settled, Byron suffered a stroke and called on his family to save the club. Since leaving her executive gig at VH1 in 2009, Dayna has helped transform First Avenue into an entertainment empire that now includes the Fine Line Café and Fitzgerald Theater, a proposed riverfront amphitheater set to break ground around 2021 in North Minneapolis.