So Is Terminal 5 Really the Third Best Club in the World?


The concert-promotion and ticket-sales aggregator website Pollstar recently compiled a list of the “Top 100 Worldwide Club Venues” on which Terminal 5 ranked a shocking #3. The result surprised even Pollstar–“When a New York City club that didn’t exist three years ago showed up as No. 3 on the latest Top 100 Worldwide Club Venues,” the website wrote while delivering the news, “we had to take notice.” So did we! Now. The A/V Club points out Pollstar is being a little deceptive here: what they’re actually ranking is some version of ticket sales, rather than an overall quality metric. But still. On the continuum of Bowery Presents venues–Mercury Lounge (intimate), Bowery Ballroom (major), Webster (coronation)–Terminal 5 often feels like the windy, chilly stepchild. From the floor, it can sometimes seem like people on the balconies two and three floors above are on the verge of throwing down knives and watching the rabble fight to death. The sound is good but in a 3,000-capacity venue, bands are always going to sound a bit shiny/impersonal.

That said. Pollstar has some interesting revelations regarding the way Terminal 5 does business. According to Bowery Presents partner Jim Glancy:

“There are no facility charges, restoration fees or any of that shit,” Glancy said. “Our Ticketmaster fees – well, Live Nation Entertainment now – are a fraction of our competitors’. When it comes time for us to stack our offer up against others, dollar-for-dollar bands are making more with us on a cheaper ticket price. … A $20 to $22 ticket can be bought for $25 rather than $40. And guess what? If you’re trying to develop young talent, that’s the only way to do it, in my opinion.”

Spin from an owner, maybe, but this is some of the first concrete evidence we’ve seen about what kind of deal bands get from Bowery Presents. And Pollstar’s analysis seems to back them up. They point out that Terminal 5’s bread and butter so far has been newer, more indie bands climbing BP’s venue ladder:

That means acts like the skyrocketing electronic group Passion Pit, which Bowery promoted at its smaller venues, can play to 3,000 fans not one night, but three. In fact, Terminal 5 is accustomed to hosting runs, with Coheed & Cambria playing four nights in a row, and Girl Talk and The Raconteurs each doing three.

Etc. Them cornering the market here suggests that bands like the deal they’re getting. Or, alternately, that they’re the only game in town–not the first time that idea has occurred. Either way, #3 is crazy. ABC No Rio was robbed! [Pollstar via Gothamist]

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