Is NYC’s Avant Gardner Going To Sell Or Partner With Bowery Presents? (Report)

Kim Petras' Sold Out Show At The Brooklyn Mirage On The Feed The Beast World Tour
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 09: Kim Petras performs onstage during her sold-out show at The Brooklyn Mirage for ‘Feed The Beast World Tour’ on October 09, 2023 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for Kim Petras)

According to multiple sources who declined to go on record, New York City’s Bowery Presents is in talks to either buy or partner with the famed Bushwick venue Avant Gardner, The venue, which opened in 2015, has gained acclaim for the Brooklyn Mirage, an open-air venue located in the middle of Avant Gardner, which also hosts the Great Hall and Kings Hall venues. The Mirage has featured performances by top acts in dance music including Swedish House Mafia, deadmau5, Tale Of Us and more. Bowery, in the past, has promoted shows at Avant Gardner, as have other promoters.

Avant Gardner and Bowery Presents at press time did not respond to Pollstar‘s request for comment. AEG Presents declined to comment.

Avant Gardner, which primarily features dance music acts, is one of NYC’s top venues and was ranked No. 2 on Pollstar‘s Top 100 Clubs charts in 2019, with 293,847 tickets grossing $14.79 million. The entire space holds 7,500 people, with The Kings Hall holding 800, The Great Hall holding 2,800 and the Brooklyn Mirage holding 4,500. The Mirage is closed during the winter months and is open from early May through October. The venue currently has acts booked through the summer, including Steve Aoki, Afrojack, Tiësto and Caribou.

Bowery Presents, which promotes shows across the East Coast and is owned by the global promoter AEG Presents, is one of NYC’s top promoters. Its impressive venue portfolio includes Brooklyn Steel (1,800 capacity), Music Hall of Williamsburg (650 capacity), Terminal Five (3,000 capacity), Forest Hills Stadium (13,000 capacity) and Webster Hall (1,500 capacity). This year, Bowery began booking Under the K Bridge (8,000 capacity), which resides beneath Greenpoint’s Kosciuszko Bridge and has already featured performances by Four Tet and Friends, Björk and ISOxo and Knock2’s Knock 4 — acts that wouldn’t be out of place at Avant Gardner. Bowery Present also promotes shows at other venues, including Madison Square Garden.

Avant Gardner has its share of competitors in the NYC dance music market including Knockdown Center (3,000 capacity) and TCE (Teksupport), which recently opened Broadwick’s Brooklyn Navy Yard venue, the Brooklyn Storehouse (5,000 cap).

One source said that Bowery has been booking shows at Mirage for a long time and may not need to officially partner with the venue if it already has access to booking shows there.

Avant Gardner, owned by Jürgen “Billy” Bildstein, has faced several high-profile challenges. Last Labor Day’s Electric Zoo festival, which Avant Gardner purchased from Made Events in 2022 for a reported $15 million, faced litigation and scrutiny by city officials after its opening day was canceled, had a delayed opening on day two and reportedly hit capacity on day three leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of disgruntled fans waiting outside. Some denied entry stormed the festival gates. According to the Gothamist, police accused the organizers of overselling the festival by 7,000 tickets.

One vendor, who Pollstar spoke with and who asked to remain anonymous, said their company has still not been paid for its services. Having not announced E-Zoo for this year, it appears the festival has no plans to return in 2024.

Read: Mismanagement Abounds At Electric Zoo With Cancellation, Cap Limits & Security Breaches

Avant Gardner has previously had trouble with the state liquor authority concerning safety issues with its venue, which have since been resolved. One agent said booking shows this year at the venue has been more seamless than ever.

With its wrap-around screens and high-quality sound system, artists continue to play the venue and fans continue to flock there. Other shows currently on the calendar include Cloonee on June 8 (sold out), Elderbrook on June 14, (sold out), Galantis on June 22 (sold out) and June 23, Steve Aoki on June 28, REZZ on July 6, Anjunadeep on July 12, Boiler Room on July 1 3 (sold out) and 14 and more.