Music Venue With the Most Foursquare Check-Ins in 2010? Terminal 5. (Mercury Lounge's Third.)

Florence, trying to unlock the Crunked badge with her mind at Terminal 5.
Florence, trying to unlock the Crunked badge with her mind at Terminal 5.
pic by Rob Harvilla

Somewhat interesting: the music venue with the most Foursquare check-ins for 2010 was NY-concert airplane hanger Terminal 5, announced on the Foursquare blog earlier this week. This is a global ranking too, though it's understandable why a New York hub with 10-15 shows a month at a 3000-person capacity would draw more Foursquare users than of a 17000-person arena like LA's Hollywood Bowl, which came in second. (East Coast is far deeper into the 4S game than West, according to this map of global check-ins.) But even more curious? A far smaller Bowery Presents venue, the 250-person Mercury Lounge, had the third most check-ins of the year, more than either Radio City Music Hall or Bowery Ballroom.

Makes sense that Terminal 5 registers ahead of everything else: 1) Terminal 5's booking catered more to thumb talkers than, say, the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular in 2010; 2) Madison Square Garden hosts bulls, basketballs, and bands, thus isn't strictly qualified as one music venue (the preferred 4S designation is "stadium"); 3) Larger fan herding grounds like Roseland or Hammerstein don't have shows frequently enough to reach a critical mass; 4) By some flimsy metric, Terminal 5 is the "Third Best Club in the World"; 5) T5 is in midtown, surrounded by businesses who'd hire social-media-marketing goons trying to manipulate the Mayorship for advertising (looking at you, Gus H., who has an indelicately invested interest in the American Retro Bar & Grill).

But why did the Mercury Lounge have more check-ins than the Bowery Ballroom or Webster Hall last year? With their double-booked nights, does the smallest of the three just have more total shows bringing in a wider swath of people? It's true that seeing a band there is more of a compactly scheduled experience in a densely social neighborhood. So are bad planners actually using the tool as it's intended: to see what's going on later, and with whom? Even more perplexing, who is this Jason from Islip and why isn't Ryan Muir Mayor?

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