To devotees of the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, one of contemporary music’s most respected and enduring live concert venues, these traditions will seem familiar. So while it’s no easy task to improve upon Irving Plaza, New York music fans will undoubtedly appreciate the new traditions and aesthetic that will infuse the reconfigured club, which upon Lily Allen’s christening concert, will be known as The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza.
“The Fillmore is a highly regarded music venue whose impact on music resonates far beyond the walls of the actual building itself,” says Bruce Eskowitz Live Nation’s Chief Executive Officer of North American Music. “By adapting some of the Fillmore traditions to one of the crown jewels in our venue portfolio, Irving Plaza, we hope to make the concert going experience even better for New York music fans.”
Along with the change in décor, the club has improved sightlines in its upstairs balcony area with additional improvements to come. Flat screen televisions are being placed in key locations throughout the club. Bathroom facility renovations are scheduled for this summer, as are upgraded sound and lighting systems. Behind the scenes, artist dressing rooms have been overhauled and upgraded.
With the launch of The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza and The Fillmore Philadelphia, which is planned for late April, Live Nation hopes to establish a live music brand to complement its 11 House of Blues clubs across the country. Along with the Fillmore San Francisco, Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium is one of the company’s most successful mid-size venues.
It’s fitting that the ultra-hot Lily Allen will open the improved club. The Fillmore, both in its San Francisco location and in its three and a half year incarnation as The Fillmore East (1968-1971) in lower Manhattan, has a rich history of importing cutting edge new artists from England. Led Zeppellin, The Who, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and many other UK artists played either the Fillmore in San Francisco or the Fillmore East in the beginning of their careers. Of course the storied venues were host to seminal American music artists as well, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Santana and The Allman Brothers to name a few.
But what makes the 40 year-old Fillmore Auditorium such an enduring live music brand is the fact that it has also played a role in the career of such important artists as The Ramones, X, Prince, Tom Petty, Coldplay, The Strokes and The White Stripes, to name a few, and continues to identify cutting edge talent on their way up through the touring ranks.
Irving Plaza has an esteemed history itself as one of New York City’s premiere music venues. Converted into a musical venue after years as a Polish dance hall, it has hosted such superstar artists as U2, Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers, and continues to be a major stepping stone on the career path of hundreds of artists every year, including such important new bands as My Morning Jacket and The Arcade Fire.
“The bottom line is that The Fillmore means something to artists and to fans,” said original Fillmore East house manager and longtime Bill Graham associate Jerry Pompili. “It was more than just a building. It was a new concept in the presentation of Rock n’ Roll. There is no better venue in New York City to carry on the traditions we started 40 years ago than Irving Plaza. It’s a beautiful thing.”
The opening evening at The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza will kick off at 8:00 p.m., featuring DJ Aaron LaCrate and the Los Angeles-based duo The Bird and the Bee followed by Lily Allen.
About Live Nation
Live Nation is the world’s largest live music company. Our mission is to inspire passion for live music around the world. We are the largest promoter of live concerts in the world, the second-largest entertainment venue management company and have a rapidly growing online presence. We create superior experiences for artists and fans, regularly producing tours for the biggest superstars in the business, including The Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay. Globally, we own, operate, have booking rights for and/or have an equity interest in more than 160 venues, including House of Blues(R) music venues and prestigious locations such as The Fillmore in San Francisco, Nikon at Jones Beach in New York and London’s Wembley Arena. Our websites collectively are the second most popular entertainment/event websites in the United States, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In addition, we also produce, promote or host theatrical, specialized motor sports and other live entertainment events. In 2006, we connected nearly 60 million fans with their favorite performers at approximately 26,000 events in 18 countries around the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol “LYV.”
SOURCE: Live Nation