Back in September, Bowery Presents took over booking at the Brooklyn Bowl, adding the concert space/cool-dad mecca to a coterie of venues that already included Bowery Ballroom, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the Mercury Lounge, and Terminal 5. The move seemed like a pretty neutral one, really. On the negative side? Less competition–pity those bands out of favor with BP. On the plus side? Being able to host the Gaslight Athem at the cavernous Terminal 5 one night, and at the comparatively intimate Brooklyn Bowl the next. Now comes word that the Knitting Factory is getting in on the conglomerate act, taking over booking at Warsaw, the former (Polish) nightclub in Greenpoint. Like the Bowery Presents move on Brooklyn Bowl, it’s an issue of scale. According to the press release:
Says Knitting Factory Entertainment CEO / President Mr. Morgan Margolis, “This is an exceptional opportunity for us to expand our brand and promoter expertise into a very difficult New York market. I’m excited to be working alongside Warsaw’s Mark Chroscielewski to make Knitting Factory Presents and Warsaw a force on the East Coast.”
Good for Brooklyn, or bad? The answer probably depends on how much you trust the Knitting Factory’s booking agents. In Manhattan, the venue was a stalwart ally of the city’s less glamorous musical genres–noise, metal, rap, etc. It was a viable alternative to the Bowery Presents Manhattan near-monopoly, which for better or for worse tended to privilege the au courant. Having now relocated to Brooklyn, the new Knitting Factory has yet to really flesh out a firm identity, though it looks like the legacy of the original venue is secure–the Knit’s current schedule sports ska (the Toasters, tonight!), downtown weirdo art-rock (Bell, Cale Parks, NNCK, etc.), and plenty of miscellaneous yet legit stuff (say, Keren Ann, or Hawthorne Heights). So are we happy they have an 1,000 seat venue to play with now? Sure, why not. Warsaw was hardly a regular thing, as it was booked before; the Knit taking it over is will basically have the same effect that the opening of an entirely new venue would’ve. One wonders what the big draw stuff is in the Knitting Factory’s world: Boredoms? Public Enemy? One pleasure, we suppose, of this merger will be finding the answer to that question out.
Knitting Factory is booking Brooklyn venue Warsaw now [Brooklyn Vegan]