The legendary Roseland Ballroom, home to the Saint-At-Large Black Party for more than two decades, will reportedly close in April. Via Billboard Magazine:
Evolving from ballroom dancing in the ‘20s to popular music, Roseland has for years been a favored New York play for a wide range of bands from the early days of rock, through disco, grunge, modern rock, jam, pop, urban and EDM. The venue found a new gear with a $1 million production/rigging renovation in the early ‘90s, funded by Ginsberg, which led to more high profile bookings of multiple dates on bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, and other hot acts when competition in that cap range was not as fierce. The room sits its in a sweet spot in terms of capacity at about 3,500, just right for developing bands climbing up the venue ladder as well as bigger bands, including the likes of the Rolling Stones, Madonna and Radiohead, that want to create buzz with an underplay. But its capacity is also a highly competitive space in the market, with AEG’s Best Buy Theater at about 2,500, Live Nation’s 3,500-cap Hammerstein Ballroom, Bowery Presents Terminal 5 at 3,000 cap, and the 2,800-cap Beacon Theatre, operated by Madison Square Garden. Still, Roseland remains a busy room, and one artists and agents prefer in many cases, so the move to close is likely related more to property values than the venue’s bottom line.
As Billboard notes, there are several similarly sized venues in Manhattan, including one not far from the Roseland in Times Square, but it will be interesting to see if any are willing to take on as colorful an event as the Black Party. Next year’s event may be safe, as the Black Party takes place in late March. Broadway Cares’ wildly popular Broadway Bares AIDS fundraiser, however, takes place in late June. (Tipped by JMG reader Rod)
RELATED: Here’s a very short clip I took at the Black Party in 2006. Audio is lousy as I was right over a speaker.