Vertically Integrated Venues

The NY Times looks at the state of the rock music club ecosystem in the city: Where the Beat Goes On: “For every Bottom Line or Fez or Continental that has shut down or quit live music in the last couple of years, a Rockwood Music Hall, Union Hall or Studio B has opened up — and maybe a Fontana’s or Club Midway as well. And in the next few months, at least five major spaces are set to open, giving the city’s rock infrastructure its most substantial expansion in years.”
The most interesting part of the article is the development of the “vertically integrated” booking chain and the competition between Live Nation (ClearChannel) and The Bowery Presents. The Bowery group did secure the lease on Northsix and will renovate it, add upstairs balconies, and convert it into the “Music Hall of Williamsburg.”
Further east, the Times reveals that Live Nation will have a hand in booking the new ~300 person capacity Luna Lounge. Live Nation is also adding Rebel (formerly Downtime on W.30th St, cap. 325) and the Gramercy Theater on 23rd St. (cap. 600) to its venue roster.
Are there enough acts able fill these medium/large rooms?
Previously: Williamsburg Mega-Venue Coming?


  1. I’m not really convinced about any rock venue north of 14th street (save Irving Plaza on 15th I guess) – maybe Live Nation will find a way to make it work.
    I think the Bowery group was wise to pick up Northsix, since they’ve got a pretty rock solid set of four clubs. Live Nation did well in securing the new Luna, but it remians to be seen if that place will be like the old Luna (I assume it won’t be free for one).
    Another question is whether these two tiers will become the only truly viable tracks for bands that want to rise up through the rock scene, and where does that leave places like Pianos (and a lot of lesser clubs).
    One more note: gotta kinda pull for the local biz over ClearChannel, if things turn out to be competitive.

  2. With the smallest of these new venues having a capacity of ~300, they’re not competing with Pianos, Cake Shop, Union Hall, The Delancey that have capacity in the vicinity of 100 or less. These new venues aren’t competing with that part of the scene. WIth the sheer volume of local bands, the smaller clubs won’t have much to worry about.
    They may reflect the fact that the fastest-growing part of the scene is in the mid-level bands– the bands that could play Bowery but might have trouble filling Irving. That it’s possible to tour in mid-sized venues.
    And, Luna Lounge Mk 2 will charge a cover, unlike the previous incarnation.

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