×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Live Nation Forms New Venture With New York’s Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge

In a move that has been rumored for months, Michael Swier, co-owner of Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge and a founder of the Bowery Presents, and Live Nation Entertainment have joined forces to create a new promotions and booking venture called Mercury East Presents, the companies announced Monday morning.

Focused on the competitive live music market in New York City, according to a press release “the alliance creates a nexus of current and future independently-owned and operated venues within the five boroughs while capitalizing on shared expertise and industry strength to serve artists and fans alike.”

The deal brings several of the area’s major venues under one umbrella, including Swier’s Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom, Live Nation’s Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theatre, Warsaw and Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. The group says it will continue to expand its purview and will bring acts to venues like Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, the Beacon Theater and Radio City Music Hall. The new company also collaborate with Founders Entertainment, which is behind the Governors Ball and Meadows festivals.

“Swier and his team are the total package, delivering industry expertise, relationships, and landmark venues that complement the greater Live Nation portfolio,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Mercury East is the ideal partnership, and will allow Live Nation to bring New York’s residents and visitors more music and events than ever before.”

“The foundation of Mercury East reaffirms our commitment to quality and streamlines production by officially uniting the venues we own and operate with our key partners,” Swier said in a statement.

The move, which was rumored as soon as Swier’s two venues parted company with their original home Bowery Presents in August, is the most recent salvo in the venue battle for New York between AEG and Live Nation. “The way the landscape has changed these days, with consolidations, this is the counterbalance one would need to exist and completely with the formidable Bowery Presents-AEG alliance,” Swier told the New York Times. “Going it alone was not an option.”

The fact that Bowery Ballroom is no longer associated with Bowery Presents is only the most obvious confusing factor in a tangled history. Swier opened the Mercury Lounge in 1994 and the Bowery Ballroom in 1998; Moore and Swier cofounded Bowery Presents in 2004; Jim Glancy joined in an ownership role in 2006. Swier was bought out of Presents in 2010 but continued to own Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge while Presents booked both venues; Swier also opened the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles in 2015.

AEG Live finalized its acquisition of Bowery Presents earlier this year, which also includes Terminal 5, Rough Trade, Music Hall of Williamsburg and the new venue Brooklyn Steel, which launched in April with a powerful opening blast of shows that includes multiple nights from LCD Soundsystem as well as PJ Harvey, Nas, Slowdive and others. AEG’s footprint in New York has also been grown in recent years with the addition of Webster Hall (which it operates in partnership with Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment), Playstation Theater and Forest Hills Stadium.

While Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge are comparatively small rooms (575 and 250 capacity, respectively), their influence on New York City’s independent music scene is enormous.

The plot thickens: A source told Variety over the summer that Bowery Presents is in early discussions involving a new, “intimate” venue of the approximate size of Bowery Ballroom.

More Music

  • Game of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi

    'Game of Thrones' Composer Ramin Djawadi: 'I'm Still in Denial'

    Since the first season, Ramin Djawadi has composed the music for “Game of Thrones” and created the epic tunes, including the iconic theme song, heard over the series’ most memorable moments. With the series finished, he talked with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1 about his experience on the show and an upcoming 20-city [...]

  • Howard Stern acknowledges the audience at

    Is Radio's Shock Jock Era Over?

    Once a pillar of radio broadcasts, terrestrial and otherwise, the popularity of shock jocks, like Howard Stern, Opie and Anthony and Bubba the Love Sponge, has withered in recent years. With Stern expressing remorse over his previous airwave antics during the promotion of his just-released book, “Howard Stern Comes Again,” trade site Radio Ink offered [...]

  • TUPAC SHAKUR black panther collection

    ‘Defiant Ones’ Director to Helm Docuseries on Tupac, Who Assaulted Him in 1993

    Director Allen Hughes, who helmed the award-winning HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones,” has closed a deal with Tupac Shakur’s estate for a five-part docuseries for which he will have full access to all of the late rapper’s released and unreleased recordings, writings and poetry, according to an announcement from his rep. The announcement says the [...]

  • Carpool Karaoke with Celine Dion on

    James Corden Gets Celine Dion to Sing 'Baby Shark,' Sail the Vegas Seas (Watch)

    Anyone who has seen Celine Dion’s long-running Las Vegas show knows she plays the comedienne almost as much as chanteuse, with a goofball quality that came in especially handy on a Monday night edition of James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.” The 15-minute segment ended with Dion and Corden trading carpooling for ship-pooling and sailing around Las [...]

  • Louis Tomlinson House

    Louis Tomlinson Lists at a Loss in Los Angeles (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former One Direction-er Louis Tomlinson, now a judge on Britain’s “The X Factor,” the very same televised talent show from which he was launched into international teenaged superstardom in 2010, has put his home in a famously celeb-favored neighborhood in the foothills above Hollywood, Calif., up for sale at $6.995 million, a notable amount less [...]

  • Berry Gordy

    Motown, T.I. to Be Honored at ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards

    Motown Records and veteran rapper T.I. will be honored at ASCAP’s 32nd annual Rhythm & Soul Music Awards, the company has announced. The awards take place on Thursday, June 20 in Los Angeles. Motown, which was founded by Berry Gordy and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, will receive the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul [...]

  • Nashville Producer Michael Knox Spotlights Songwriters

    Michael Knox, Producer for Jason Aldean, Spotlights Music Row's Writers in New Podcast

    Nashville producer and publisher Michael Knox, the man behind the Jason Aldean throne, has started a biweekly “Knox Country Podcast” with a focus on having the songwriters of Music Row tell the stories behind their hits. Shalacy Griffin acts as co-host for the podcast, the outgrowth of a syndicated radio show, “Knox Country 360,” they [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content