The Civic Festhall is a combination concert hall, opera house, museum, art gallery, tavern, wine shop, and faction headquarters, mixed in with a few other services that are best left undescribed. This mash of services makes sense, given that the place is run by the Sensates. Their desire to experience everything includes the arts, but also much, much more. There's tall tales to be told about what happens in the back halls of the Sensate headquarters.
But all that's just whispers to the folks who come here for the shows and excitement. They're here to have a good time - a safe, cultured good time with just enough daring to make them feel dangerous. Not that the folks who come here are at any particular risk. Aside from the cutpurses and peelers, there's no real danger in the streets around the Sen-sate headquarters. In fact, true Sensates make for other parts of town for the "true" experiences.
With the Civic Festhall as an anchor, the district around it has attracted a number of artistic businesses. There's dealers in artistic curiosities from all the worlds of the multiverse. There's taverns noted for the bards that play there. Other businesses have the finest wines, the best food, or the best of many other comforts. Jongleurs wander down the streets, portable puppet theaters are set up at the intersections, fire eaters belch their talents from the alleys, and wizards craft beautiful illusions for the crowds. Even stranger beings from the hinterlands get into the show, acting for coins or using their strange powers to dazzle the multitudes.
Those that live and work in this district - the showmen, the actors, the musicians, and the mountebanks - are all just a hair's breath above disreputable, or at least that's what other folks say. The good folk of the district'll point out their entertainments are honest products of training and skill. 'Course, the idea that a strolling singer or comedic actor has to work hard just sits foreign with most other berks.