How healthy is the NYC club scene?

by Jason Gross

13 October 2007


Add the Hook, Mo Pitkins and possibly Club Midway to the ever-expanding graveyard of NYC music clubs.  Also note that places like the Blender’s Gramercy Theatre, Irving Plaza and United Theatre have sporadic bookings at best this year (GT doesn’t even have a website or their own presale box office).  And yet articles from the New York Times crow that despite other recent club closings (i.e. CBGB’s, Fez, Brownies, Bottom Line, Sin-E), Gotham still has a “healthy” club scene.  What kind of club scene it is remains to be seen.  With ever-high rents here, only establishments that overcharge for drinks, increase their ticket prices and have to book acts that they’re reasonably sure will pack in audiences mean that there’s less and less chance for up and coming acts here and out of town to play here, much less get recognized.  There are still places like Ace of Clubs, Arlene’s and Pianos that do cater to these bands but I’m worried that they’re going to become endangered species.  The scary thing is that there isn’t a lot of support to keep clubs like these going- art grants for music usually go to classical or jazz projects, assuming that rock/pop is a commercial venture that takes care of itself.  What’s going to keep places like this going are support from fans who vote with their feet and their wallets.  Otherwise…?

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