Bowery Ballroom

Coordinates: 40°43′14″N 73°59′38″W / 40.7206°N 73.9939°W / 40.7206; -73.9939
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Bowery Ballroom
Address6 Delancey Street
LocationNew York, NY 10002
Coordinates40°43′14″N 73°59′38″W / 40.7206°N 73.9939°W / 40.7206; -73.9939
Public transitNew York City Subway: "J" train"Z" train at Bowery
New York City Bus: M103
OwnerMichael Swier, Michael Winsch, Brian Swier
TypeNightclub Live Music Venue
Genre(s)Live Music Venue, Nightclub
Seating typeStanding-room only
ArchitectBrian Swier

The Bowery Ballroom is a New York City live music venue located at 6 Delancey Street in Manhattan's Bowery neighborhood.

The venue has enjoyed a fabled reputation among musicians as well as audiences.[1] In 2013, industry insiders polled by Rolling Stone magazine named it the best club in America, describing it as "both intimate and grand, with consistently great sound and sightlines, and touches of old-school class."[2] Consequence of Sound named it the second-best music venue in the United States.[3]

It has a capacity of 575 people.[4][5][6]


The Bowery Ballroom was founded in 1998 by Michael Swier, Michael Winsch, and Brian Swier, who still own and operate the business. The club was the team's second music venue after The Mercury Lounge.

The building at 6 Delancey Street was built to be a high-end shoe store and haberdashery just before the devastating Wall Street Crash of 1929. It stood vacant until the end of World War II, when it housed a series of shops. Over time the neighborhood declined.[7] In 1998 the building was fully renovated to become The Bowery Ballroom.[8]

Cofounder Michael Swier told the Village Voice and LA Weekly that he and his partners' goals have always been about quality of sound, as well as giving the best experience to both artists and the audience.[9]

Architect and cofounder Brian Swier designed the venue and directed renovations of the historic building with an eye to optimal acoustics for live music. Today the club is one of the rare remaining independent music venues, and continues to be regarded as one of the best for music purists. Gothamist and Thrillist have named it one of New York City's best music venues.[10][11]

“From the beginning, opening the Mercury Lounge, it was all about the stage and the music — for the band, for the people coming to see the bands,” Michael Swier told LA Weekly. “Whether it's the sound system, the acoustic treatment, the way the band sounds to themselves onstage, the sightlines — it was all about that. That reputation of building really good clubs and treating both bands and patrons with the respect they deserve and putting the focus on that kind of grew out of those things."[12]

A detailed scholarly account of the venue and its place in the wider music and cultural history of New York City was published in 2020.[13]

Notable acts[edit]

Patti Smith performed New Year's Eve at the Bowery Ballroom for fourteen consecutive years.[14][15]

The venue has hosted numerous acts of note[16] including R.E.M.,[17] Coldplay,[18] Quicksand, Kanye West,[1] Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Radiohead, Tony Bennett, The Roots, Lana Del Rey, Måneskin,[19] The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers,[20] The White Stripes,[21] Metallica,[22] Robert Plant,[23] Arcade Fire, The Killers, Idina Menzel,[24] Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, The Dandy Warhols, The Strokes, Broken Social Scene, They Might Be Giants, Lucky Chops,[25] Yo La Tengo,[26] and Frank Ocean.[27]

In media[edit]

The Bowery Ballroom is the namesake of Joan Baez's Bowery Songs album, recorded live at the venue on November 6, 2004.[28] It appears in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly as well as the 2008 film Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.[29]


  1. ^ a b "The 50 Best Concert Venues in America1. Bowery Ballroom". Complex. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "The Best Clubs in America". Rolling Stone. March 28, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "The 100 Greatest American Music Venues". 2016-04-29. Retrieved 2024-02-03.
  4. ^ Sisario, Ben. "A Small Strategy for Selling Concerts". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Sisario, Ben (December 18, 2017). "Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge Join With Live Nation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Sisario, Ben (August 2, 2017). "Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge Split From Concert Promoter Bowery Presents". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "History of the Bowery Ballroom", Bowery Ballroom website (archived 2007)
  8. ^ Kemp, Rob. "Bowery Ballroom". New York. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  9. ^ "Michael Swier's Musical Manifest Destiny Reaches From the Bowery to Los Angeles". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  10. ^ Garofalo, Sadie Bell, Alex (March 6, 2019). "The Best Live Music Venues in NYC for Every Type of Show". Thrillist. Retrieved September 21, 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ staff/rebecca-fishbein (December 4, 2013). "The 8 Best Music Venues In NYC". Gothamist. Archived from the original on September 21, 2019. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  12. ^ Hughes, Hilary (July 13, 2015). "Michael Swier Is the Proud New Yorker Behind L.A.'s Coolest New Music Venue". LA Weekly. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  13. ^ Holt, Fabian (2020). Everyone Loves Live Music. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-73854-3.
  14. ^ Gold, Daniel M. (January 2, 2012). "Patti Smith Ends Bowery Residency". ArtsBeat. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (January 3, 2012). "Patti Smith Ends New Year's Eve Residencies at Bowery Ballroom". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  16. ^ "Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge Split From Concert Promoter Bowery Presents".
  17. ^ "R.E.M. Setlist at Bowery Ballroom, New York". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Coldplay Sings For Stars In NYC". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  19. ^ "The Måneskins at the Bowery Ballroom in New York (with Little Steven)". Videomuzic. 2021-10-29. Retrieved 2022-02-24.
  20. ^ "Red Hot Chili Peppers Live Archive". Red Hot Chili Peppers Live Archive. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  21. ^ The White Stripes - Backstage, Bowery Ballroom. New York 2002., archived from the original on 2021-12-21, retrieved September 21, 2019
  22. ^ "Events |". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "Robert Plant, Patty Griffin & Band (Of Joy) played Bowery Ballroom (pics, video, setlist)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  24. ^ "Rent's Idina Menzel Tours Debut Album With NY & National Dates; Starts Nov. 3". Playbill. November 3, 1998. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  25. ^ "Lucky Chops sells out Bowery". NYlive. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
  26. ^ "Yo La Tengo announce 2019 Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  27. ^ "Music Is Love, and Love Is Music". NYTimes. Retrieved October 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "Bowery Songs, Joan Baez, Music CD - Barnes & Noble". November 6, 2004. Archived from the original on March 23, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  29. ^ Previous post Next post (October 2, 2008). "Review: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Strikes Sweet Chord | Underwire |". Retrieved August 7, 2010.

External links[edit]