The Real: Magid Era Ends in Philly
The deal was brokered by Mark Shulman, VP and GM of AEG Live Northeast. The Electric Factory’s booking team will stay on and expand their roles to oversee booking for five AEG properties in Philadelphia including the recently signed Underground Arts, a 650-capicity club owned by realtor Gary Reuben.
What’s unclear is how Larry Magid fits into the deal. Magid, Philly’s most well-known promoter who opened and ran the original Electric Factory from 1968 until 1970 then opened the current Electric Factory in 1995. The 72-year-old impresario is among an elite echelon of promoters from the 1960s and 70s like Wilson Howard in South Carolina and the still-active Don Law in Boston.
Magid wasn’t part of the discussions to bring on AEG Live, Shulman said.
“This deal was done with Adam Spivak and myself,” he told The Real. “I know Larry is still active – but the specifics of what he is doing now, and how he fits into this, I honestly don’t know.”
Spivak confirmed Magid still retains ownership in the Electric Factory, although he’s no longer promoting shows at the 2,600-capacity venue.
“Larry has his own touring company, LME (Larry Magid Entertainment) and does various tours,” explained Spivak, Magid’s partner at Electric Factory. Magid “just partnered with Live Nation on Bette Midler” and is “now doing a bunch of O’Jays dates.”
The Real reached out to Magid several times for an interview but we were ultimately told that he didn’t want to comment for this story.
Spivak said the AEG Live agreement was “just a booking agreement; nothing more, nothing less,” and said it had been quite some time since Magid had booked a show at the venue.
“Last time Larry booked a show there himself?” he wrote in a instant messenger chat with The Real, “I can’t remember.”
The AEG Live booking deal represents the fourth phase of the Electric Factory’s promotional life. The first was from 1995-2000 when Magid and Spivak, and Allen’s son Adam, opened and ran the venue. In the 2000s, Magid and Spivak sold Electric Factory to SFX and Magid went to work for SFX and its eventual successor, Live Nation.
He left Live Nation in 2010 and revealed he and Spivak retained ownership of the Electric Factory in the original sale. From 2010 to 2015 they ran the club as an independent facility, competing against Live Nation and AEG Live, whose roster of Philly venues include Keswick Theatre, Trocadero Theatre, and The Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
That competition is heating up with the opening of Live Nation’s 2,500-capacity Fillmore nightclub and 450-cap Foundry club, part of a $32 million entertainment complex inside a former Ajax Metal factory. The Fillmore opened earlier this month with a concert from Hall and Oates.
“Philadelphia is a fantastic market with an incredible venue history,” Shulman said. “Providing as many options as possible for the public is an important part of that legacy.”