Bowery Presents alum Makes joins Live Nation NY
Anthony Makes, formerly lead promoter at AEG-owned Bowery Presents, has joined Live Nation’s US Concerts division, as the company expands its team in New York.
Makes, who had been with Bowery for more than a decade, has been named president of New York, while longtime Live Nation booker Jason Miller becomes executive vice-president, New York. The team report to Alan Ostfield, Live Nation’s president of US Concerts for the north Atlantic region.
“Anthony brings significant industry experience from his 25-year career in music,” Ostfield comments. “With their combined knowledge of New York and strong relationships within the industry, Anthony and Jason will be unstoppable as we continue working to expand our annual concert events and venue platform.”
AEG finalised its acquisition of a stake in New York promoter/venue operator the Bowery Presents in January, less than a month after Live Nation formed a joint venture of its own, Mercury East Presents, with Bowery co-founder Michael Swier, adding famed venues the Bowery Ballroom (575-cap.) and Mercury Lounge (250-cap.) to its stable of New York properties.
The New York live music market – the world’s busiest – is hotly contested between the two companies: both Live Nation and AEG promote major festivals – Governors Ball and Panorama, respectively – on Randalls Island, while Madison Square Garden is central to the ongoing ‘booking war’ between AEG and Live Nation-aligned Azoff MSG Entertainment.
Live Nation produced or promoted from than 2,700 events in the New York region in 2017, with a combined audience of nearly six million.
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Live Nation forms New York JV with Bowery co-owner
Following the end of his venues’ relationship with AEG in August, Bowery Ballroom/Mercury Lounge co-owner Michael Swier has joined forces with Live Nation for a new promotion and booking venture.
New York-based Mercury East Presents, described as a “nexus of current and future independently owned and operated venues within” the city’s five boroughs, unites the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge (pictured), along with Live Nation’s Irving Plaza (1,025-cap.), Gramercy Theatre (499-cap.), Warsaw (1,000-cap.) and Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk (5,000-cap.), under one umbrella.
The newly formed company will also collaborate with festival promoter Founders Entertainment (Governors Ball, Meadows Music and Arts Festival), acquired by Live Nation in April 2016, and assist in bringing acts to Live Nation-aligned Madison Square Garden Company’s major New York venues, including Madison Square Garden, Barclay’s Center, the Beacon Theater and Radio City.
Mercury East will be based at Live Nation’s new east-coast headquarters, on 15th street in New York’s Meatpacking district.
“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”
AEG Presents (then AEG Live) acquired a stake in Swier’s former company, the Bowery Presents, in January 2017, although the deal excluded Bowery Ballroom (575-cap.) and Mercury Lounge (250-cap.). AEG/Bowery Presents severed its ties with the venues six months later, with Live Nation rumoured to be among those interested in taking over the lease.
The partnership with Swier gives Live Nation a bigger presence in the New York market, which is hotly contested between the two companies: both Live Nation and AEG promote major festivals – Governors Ball and Panorama, respectively – on Randalls Island, while Madison Square Garden is central to the ongoing ‘booking war’ between AEG and Irving Azoff’s Azoff MSG Entertainment.
“Swier and his team are the total package, delivering industry expertise, relationships and landmark venues that complement the greater Live Nation portfolio,” says Michael Rapino, Live Nation president and CEO. “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,” says Swier. “The team behind Mercury East remains focused on cultivating bands throughout all stages of their success, as well ensuring audiences have a premium experience, from ticket purchase to show’s end.”
Mercury Lounge swaps Ticketmaster for Ticketfly
Famed New York venues the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, booked by newly AEG Live-owned promoter The Bowery Presents, have been lured away from Live Nation’s Ticketmaster by an exclusive ticketing partnership with Ticketfly.
“Ticketfly has impressed me for many years,” says Michael Swier, who owns the clubs. “Their constant pursuit of identifying better ways to sell and purchase tickets is stunning, and their platform is incredibly user-friendly for my staff, as well as the fans. Plus, I love Ticketfly’s indie sensibility – it’s a great match for Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge’s place in this world, and moving forward in tandem will be effortless.”
Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin calls the deal “a great illustration of how the Pandora-Ticketfly combination is changing the live events landscape”. Ticketfly was bought by the internet radio/streaming giant for US$450 million in October.
Ticketfly’s other New York clients include Central Park SummerStage, Forest Hills Stadium, The Capitol Theatre, Birdland, Output, Baby’s All Right and the Brooklyn Bowl
Its other New York clients include Central Park SummerStage, Forest Hills Stadium, The Capitol Theatre, Birdland, Output, Baby’s All Right and the Brooklyn Bowl.
Tickets to events at the two venues will now be pushed to Pandora listeners in the New York area who have expressed interest in acts scheduled to appear at the venues, and custom Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge digital radio stations were launched on the service today.
Ticketfly added 48 new venues and promoters to its Canadian roster in January with the acquisition of ticketing system developer TicketBreak.