Bowery Ballroom

The Bowery Ballroom is a New York City live-music venue located at 6 Delancey Street in the neighborhood of Bowery in Manhattan. The Bowery Ballroom holds something of a cult status among musicians as well as audiences.[1] Rolling Stone Magazine has awarded it #1 Best Club in America.[2] "It's both intimate and grand, with consistently great sound and sightlines, and touches of old-school class, like 84-year-old bronze rails."[2] It has a capacity of 575 people.[3][4][5]

The Bowery Ballroom
Address6 Delancey Street
LocationNew York, NY 10002
Coordinates40.7206°N 73.9939°W / 40.7206; -73.9939
Public transitNew York City Subway: 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 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.[6] In 1998 the building was fully renovated to become The Bowery Ballroom.[7]

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.[8]

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. Both Gothamist[9] and Thrillist tout it as one of New York City's best Music Venues.[10]

“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 says. “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."[11]

Notable acts

Patti Smith performed New Years Eve at the Bowery Ballroom for fourteen consecutive years.[12][13]

The venue has hosted numerous acts[14] including R.E.M.,[15] Coldplay,[16] Kanye West,[1] Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Radiohead, Tony Bennett, Lana Del Rey, The Black Keys, Red Hot Chili Peppers,[17] The White Stripes,[18] Metallica,[19] Robert Plant,[20] Arcade Fire, The Killers, Lady Gaga, The Dandy Warhols, The Strokes, Jeff Buckley, Broken Social Scene, and Yo La Tengo.[21]

Brooklyn-based alternative rock band They Might Be Giants has performed several concerts at the Bowery Ballroom.

In media

The Bowery Ballroom is namesake of Joan Baez's Bowery Songs album, recorded live at the Bowery Ballroom on November 6, 2004.[22] It also appears in the 2000 film Coyote Ugly as well as the 2008 film Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist.[23]


  1. "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. Sisario, Ben. "A Small Strategy for Selling Concerts". The New York Times. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. "History of the Bowery Ballroom", Bowery Ballroom website (archived 2007)
  7. Kemp, Rob. "Bowery Ballroom". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  8. "Michael Swier's Musical Manifest Destiny Reaches From the Bowery to Los Angeles". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  9. 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.
  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.
  11. 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.
  12. Gold, Daniel M. (January 2, 2012). "Patti Smith Ends Bowery Residency". ArtsBeat. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  13. Perpetua, Matthew; Perpetua, Matthew (January 3, 2012). "Patti Smith Ends New Year's Eve Residencies at Bowery Ballroom". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  14. "Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge Split From Concert Promoter Bowery Presents".
  15. "R.E.M. Setlist at Bowery Ballroom, New York". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  16. "Coldplay Sings For Stars In NYC". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  17. "Red Hot Chili Peppers Live Archive". Red Hot Chili Peppers Live Archive. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  18. The White Stripes - Backstage, Bowery Ballroom. New York 2002., retrieved September 21, 2019
  19. "Events |". Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  20. "Robert Plant, Patty Griffin & Band (Of Joy) played Bowery Ballroom (pics, video, setlist)". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  21. "Yo La Tengo announce 2019 Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved September 21, 2019.
  22. "Bowery Songs, Joan Baez, Music CD - Barnes & Noble". November 6, 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  23. Previous post Next post (October 2, 2008). "Review: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Strikes Sweet Chord | Underwire |". Retrieved August 7, 2010.
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