NYC Club Scene Grows

While the closing of CBGB is a loss to New York City night life, there are plenty of other existing or new clubs ready to fill any perceived gap in the live music scene.

The Bowery Presents‘ Jim Glancy told Pollstar that the NYC live music scene is very much alive and well despite the loss of venues like CBGB.

“With CB’s and Bottom Line going away, a lot of people think ‘Oh my god, the club scene in New York is crippled!'” Glancy said. “It’s as vibrant as I’ve seen it in 15-20 years of being here.”

Both the Bowery Presents and Live Nation have plans to open new clubs in the Brooklyn area in the new year.

Glancy said his company has secured the lease for the Northsix nightclub in Williamsburg with the goal to renovate and reopen it as the Music Hall of Williamsburg next spring.

“Our plan is to take over the venue February 1st,” Glancy said. “We will close down briefly for renovations with the intent for [the club] to do for the Brooklyn music scene what the Bowery Ballroom did for the Manhattan scene.”

Glancy added that booking policies for the new venue would be the same as for the 250-capacity Mercury Lounge, 500-capacity Bowery Ballroom and 1,400-capacity Webster Hall.

Sam Kinken, VP of booking for Live Nation – NYC, told Pollstar the company’s renovation of the former Gramercy Theatre into a 600-capacity nightclub with a recording studio, production room and other amenities and its co-booking arrangement with Rocks Off at the new 325-capacity Rebel nightclub in Manhattan is part of a plan to expand into artist development.

“For the last few years, I’ve felt that Live Nation in New York should be a little bit lower to the ground for its artist development,” Kinken said. “I think we had a certain kind of perfect storm of circumstances this year that allowed us to make those aspirations happen.”

Kinken said the company will also be involved in booking shows at the 325-capacity Luna Lounge, set to reopen in Williamsburg at the end of the year, which is in the vicinity of LN’s 850-capacity Warsaw.

“We’d been looking for opportunities for a while and I think this situation with the Luna Lounge really kind of hits home. [Owner] Rob Sacher found a great space in a great location,” he said. “It’s got two dressing rooms, a green room, state-of-the-art sound system. He’s really built something that’s going to last for a long time.

“The Williamsburg music scene in Brooklyn is very vital right now and we’re a really big part of it. It’s a great space to be in.”

One other new venue called the Box, which owner Simon Hammerstein expects to open by the end of the year, will offer theatre and music performances, according to the New York Times.

– Tina Amendola