Well, that didn’t take long. Brooklyn Bowl, the posh Williamsburg entertainment complex that opened in July with an O’Death show and a Fucked Up afterparty, will now be booked under the aegis of Bowery Presents, the NYC concert promoter conglomerate that that also handles the Bowery Ballroom, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Mercury Lounge, and Terminal 5. Josh Moore, the promoter that handles the MHOW for Bowery Presents, will take over operations at the bowling alley-cum-restaurant-cum venue, replacing the space’s former talent buyer, Mia Sladyk. As per the press release:
“We watched Brooklyn Bowl grow from the ground up,” says Moore. “The project was indeed ambitious but it was so well conceived and executed — it just worked. We are also excited to be in business with our good friends, Peter Shapiro and Charley Ryan, who did an amazing job bringing the venue to life. After spiritedly competing on bookings over the past few weeks we mutually realized that we should work together, rather than compete against one another.”
Will this have consequences for shows in Williamsburg? Probably not. In theory, competition for Bowery Presents a), might’ve given bands more options in terms of where they could do shows and on what terms, and b), might’ve pulled down ticket prices a bit, should Brooklyn Bowl have decided to undersell the MHOW. But there was little indication of the latter happening–it costs $40-$50-per-hour just to bowl at BB when bands are playing, and the price of actual concert tickets was about even with those of Bowery Presents.
And as for the former, the new Knitting Factory, the Bell House, and Todd P still remain valid options for bands who have issues with Bowery Presents (or vice versa). Another option would’ve been nice, but it probably wouldn’t have changed much. Bowery Presents may be something approaching a monopoly in this city, but you rarely hear those who work with them complain. The fact is, very few can function in North Brooklyn or Manhattan in any kind of DIY fashion, Todd P excepted–it’s just not the way the real estate works out. There wasn’t much of a difference between Brooklyn Bowl and the Bowery Presents venues before this merger, and there’s that much less of one now. Plus ca change.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 2, 2009