Jay-Z, Patti Smith & Vampire Weekend Lead Busy First Month for Webster Hall's Return

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation
 JAY-Z performs B-Sides 2 at Webster Hall on April 26, 2019 in New York City.

After closing in August 2017 for 18 months of internal renovations, New York’s iconic Webster Hall reopened on April 26 to some of the biggest receipts in the venue’s 100-plus-year history. Since reopening its doors, the legendary nightclub grossed nearly $1.5 million and sold more than 35,000 tickets through the end of May.

The inaugural show of the renovated venue was a performance of B-sides and rarities from Jay-Z. The Brooklyn legend delivered the highest reported gross in the venue’s history, earning $265,000 from a sold-out night with 1,199 fans.

Jay-Z’s performance is one of three since the reopening that topped all previous reports at the venue. MGMT and Patti Smith both broke the $200k threshold with multiple-night engagements. The May 1-2 stint ranks as the second biggest domestic gross of Smith’s career, behind her Sept. 14, 2017, performance in New York’s Central Park, where she grossed $218,000.

Spanish upstart Rosalia hosted the venue’s first double-header of 2019, grossing $110,000 on her first headline performance in New York. Both shows were part of the 2019 Red Bull Music Festival.

Other highlights include underplays from arena headliners Halsey and Vampire Weekend. The former played two shows leading up to the release of her recent single, “Nightmare,” and the latter hosted a seven-hour concert, including three sets with special guests (Haim, Dev Hynes) and free pizza and bagels for attendees.

Among venues with a sellable capacity of 5,000 or less, Webster Hall ranked No. 13 in May, with a gross of $1.03 million and 29,820 tickets sold (Webster’s maximum capacity is 1,560).

With nearly 70 shows already announced for the remainder of 2019, including double trouble from Sigrid, Built to Spill and Big Thief, Webster Hall will surely continue its hot streak, and its tradition as one of New York’s leading concert venues. All shows are being promoted by AEG Presents and The Bowery Presents.