Posted in music | venues on March 20, 2014

Webster Hall marquee, June 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
Bowery Presents

Webster Hall's 1400 capacity Grand Ballroom has long been a place that Bowery Presents books concerts. It's there they can put artists that are theoretically too big for Bowery Ballroom and too small for Terminal 5.

A powerful force in the music industry, Bowery Presents can hold on to a band's NYC concert history for the length of its career by placing the band in rooms of various sizes. They have options: tiny Mercury Lounge to the new Rough Trade to the giant Terminal 5 to the even bigger Barclays Center, not to mention Central Park Summerstage and Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell, Radio City, Beacon Theater, Town Hall, and possibly a new space in Bushwick that will be Webster Hall's successor, and even MSG. But now they'll have one less.

As of September 1 (not counting shows which are already booked), Webster Hall's recently-enlarged team of five talent buyers will be doing it all themselves. They already booked the smaller rooms, but now that team will collectively book all of Webster Hall's rooms which include the Grand Ballroom, The Studio, Marlin Room, and the new Slake (formerly The Wall).

Webster Hall now counts Ric Leichtung of 285 Kent fame as one of their own. The rest of the booking team is Heath Miller, Kenny Schachter, Alex Rossiter and Laura Bo Sherman.

Is Webster Hall crazy thinking they can compete with their 1400 person room on their own? Time will tell, though maybe it doesn't matter that much since Webster Hall's regular club nights seem to do just fine for them.

An email Webster Hall sent out to booking agents reads:

We will now be better suited to maximize the artist experience and fan enjoyment by focusing on every detail for each show that Webster Hall hosts, which already includes The Studio at Webster Hall, Marlin Room at Webster Hall, and our new venue Slake (around the corner from Penn Station).

After 130 years, Webster Hall retains its local focus and has strategic alliances in place to ensure that New York City is an artist's most important experience. We welcome you to pay us a visit or to let us know when we can visit you.

Good luck Webster!

Upcoming Bowery Presents-booked shows at Webster Hall include Warpaint, Gary Numan, Sam Smith, Real Estate, Dillinger Escape Plan, Mac DeMarco, Black Lips, Tycho, Future Islands, Wye Oak, Tokyo Police Club, Elbow, The Menzingers, Old 97's, The Notwist, First Aid Kit, Kaiser Chiefs, Jagwar Ma, Tune-Yards, and more.

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Comments (38)

Worst venue ever.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:22 AM

this will be fun to watch. Their booking at The Studio is weak, and that part of the venue is a dump. The big room has zero soul with sound to match.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:24 AM

Fuck their $8 beers.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:33 AM

I really like this venue. I like when they try to squeeze 1400 people out of a two door exit at the other side of the venue. I really like that. I really do.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:34 AM

Webster sound is not that bad at all if you are in the front half of the room.

The real story here is that until Bowery opens that Brooklyn Classic monstrosity, you can expect to see every band too big for Bowery Ballroom and not even too big get thrown into Terminal crap

Terrible suckage news

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:37 AM

"The real story here is that until Bowery opens that Brooklyn Classic monstrosity, you can expect to see every band too big for Bowery Ballroom and not even too big get thrown into Terminal crap."

Yeah, that sound about right. Maybe the Best Buy Theater will step it up in terms of bookings.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:43 AM

The Bowery Presents people do shows right. They are courteous and treat their patrons with respect; the total opposite of a corporate club like Irving Plaza or a douchebag haven like Webster Hall. Expect recently paroled bouncers who take your decision to hear live music as an indication that you, like them, are a criminal and should be disrespected and manhandled as such.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:48 AM

Bad news for T5 haters/anyone with ears.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:50 AM

Start off with a bang, book Pussy Riot (must include hot one), Tyler the Cheater, and Perfect Pussy to generate lots of publicity

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 9:50 AM

Good for them! I've seen a lot of good bands in all the different rooms there. It's more about the band and the venue that the people booking it.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:00 AM

"of 285 Kent fame"

lol

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:02 AM

Doesnt bowery just book who's ever on z100 nowadays for the most part? I remember when they booked indie cutting edge stuff. Now it's just pop and top 40. I guess they gotta pay their bills. Tho they didn't at the Wellmont, maybe they weren't st Webster too?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:06 AM

Wasn't the 285 "fame" built on Bowery? I remember Todd p distributing flyers in front of the Bowery ballroom by J train.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:21 AM

"The Bowery Presents people do shows right. They are courteous and treat their patrons with respect; the total opposite of a corporate club like Irving Plaza or a douchebag haven like Webster Hall. Expect recently paroled bouncers who take your decision to hear live music as an indication that you, like them, are a criminal and should be disrespected and manhandled as such."

-BP Employee

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:23 AM

Saw a show there in Feb and was VERY impressed with the sound. The exit situation/coat check is a nightmare, but oh well.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:24 AM

As mentioned, getting out of that death trap is scary. Not sure how I feel about the unisex bathroom situation either...

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:32 AM

balcony or nothin'

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:36 AM

"Doesnt bowery just book who's ever on z100 nowadays for the most part? I remember when they booked indie cutting edge stuff. Now it's just pop and top 40. I guess they gotta pay their bills. Tho they didn't at the Wellmont, maybe they weren't st Webster too?"

What? They book everyone from tiny bands playing Merc Lounge to alt bands like Arctic Monkeys playing MSG (who I don't believe have ever been on Z100).

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:38 AM

Yes, Webster Hall security is literally the worst I've encountered in any NYC venue (T5 is not much better), but it's a good venue. Don't really understand the shit-talking about the sound. It sounds fine. People like to fuckin complain. I've seen a lot of great shows in the main room and at the Studio. The Studio isn't amazing by any means, but like someone said, it's about the quality of the bands/artists they book.

I say good. Releasing the death grip of Bowery Presents, albeit one finger, means something.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:57 AM

While I'm no Bowery Presents fanboy, I'm not sure this is a good idea solely based on Webster's booking team. 98% of shows at the studio are absolute garbage, teenybopper bullshit and fashion punk. Couple that with the moron who booked 285 Kent and this is gonna be one shitty venue.

And this is coming from someone who actually doesn't mind Webster Hall.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:07 AM

i think part of the issue was the studio on restrictions they had when bowery was there with competing with mercury lounge and bowery ballroom, from what i heard.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:09 AM

"I say good. Releasing the death grip of Bowery Presents, albeit one finger, means something."

Couldn't agree more. Bowery has become an unchecked monster. I love their booking department, but their "death grip" on talent has really suffocated competition.

Re: Webster's sound - it's totally fine. Maybe not the best for the quiet artists, but the clear sight lines make up for it. T5... the same can't be said about you!

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:11 AM

There have been a lot of good hardcore shows at the Studio. Yeah, they have a pretty shitty schedule for the most part, but they have gems in there that make up for it. Modern Life is War's first NYC show after the reunion being paramount.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:32 AM

"local show promoter gets real job," the blog post

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:48 AM

DIY...?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:01 PM

When Bowery booked the Wellmont, the line-up slayed. Now that Live Nation does the booking, it sucks ass fuck balls.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:22 PM

Oh yeah I forgot the Wellmont opened back up

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 12:35 PM

9:48 Totally disagree. While I do think Bowery is great for live music, Irving Plaza is not a corporate bullshit venue. It's still an intimate setting to see great live acts. I'd rather go there than some big corporate ARENA. Not the same comparison to call it corporate.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 1:21 PM

Was Bowery the EXCLUSIVE booker of the big room before? I always figured it was a split, since they also put on more than a few rap shows, a genre Bowery Presents typically avoids like the plague.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 2:15 PM

LOVE YOU RIC! good for you.

Posted by former 285 employee | March 20, 2014 2:29 PM

Good riddance Webster!

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 6:04 PM

What does Ma'am have to say about it?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 8:55 PM

WW Mr. FootFetish D?

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:45 PM

I just go wherever you can smoke weed

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 10:53 PM

the sound in the main room isn't bad. the problem is that webster always has crap coming from the other "club" rooms that always makes it's way into the main room; the worst being the bass you can literally feel through the floor.

my guess is that the concerts are basically incremental revenue for them, given that the main room becomes part of the club later in the night anyway. and they probably make more with it as a club than a concert venue.

Posted by Anonymous | March 20, 2014 11:21 PM

lollo

Posted by Anonymous | March 21, 2014 1:13 PM

The sound isn't bad, but it's not great. Security is pretty lame. 30 minute lines for drinks is the worst. I'm not crazy about Bowery, but I have a feeling Webster will turn into a douche-nest, and eventually a full time disco.

Posted by Anonymous | May 17, 2014 6:59 AM

this is very bad news. webster is way better than any of the bowery venues. the exit 'door' out of the b. ballroom is worse by far than webster. elbow sounded great last night. it is more about the act than anything else. a lot of sound guys love mud. elbow was crystal clear. so was metronomy. i'm hoping they all come to their senses, and re consider.

Posted by Anonymous | May 17, 2014 1:28 PM

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