Renovated Webster Hall will host Jay-Z, Patti Smith for official reopening concerts

April 15, 2019

Image via Wikimedia cc.

The historic East Village music venue Webster Hall is scheduled to reopen on April 26, 2019 after being closed for nearly 19 months for renovations. The concert hall was first opened in 1886, making it New York’s oldest still-operating venue. According to AMNewYork, the Marlin concert room, Grand Ballroom and studio space have had a complete overhaul; the venue, which was acquired by Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and AEG Presents (parent company of The Bowery Presents) in 2017, has announced a reopening concert featuring Jay-Z performing “The B-Sides,” as well as a month of notable shows that will include Patti Smith, MGMT, Built To Spill, Sharon Van Etten, Broken Social Scene, Real Estate and more.

webster hall, jay-z, patti smith, east village
A 1920s drag ball in Webster Hall. Image via Wikimedia cc.

The new owners feel the iconic rapper is the perfect artist to reopen the historic venue. The renovation itself, according to the owners, won’t stray too far from the venue’s original features. AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano said, “In renovating one of New York’s most historic and iconic venues, our goals were simple and straightforward; maintain the integrity of the space, modernize it to create an incredible concert experience for fans and performers, and book a dynamic mix of artists in music today.”

Long before it became a well-known concert venue (in the 1980s and ’90s it was known as The Ritz), Webster Hall in the East Village was one of New York’s most significant large 19th-century assembly halls, famous for its Bohemian masquerade balls in the 1910s and 1920s and a gathering place for an early 20th-century lesbian and gay community, who felt welcome and then sponsored their own events by the 1920s. More recently it was known for being the rare NYC nightclub open to 19-year-olds, becoming a 1990s staple for coming-of-age teens; there’s no word on whether the age requirement will change with the new management.


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