Webster Hall to Take Back Its Reins from Bowery Presents, Hints at Brooklyn Plans
Sarah Maloy

New York live music mainstay Webster Hall and its booking and promotions arm Webster Hall Presents will both be responsible for their own destinies (more or less) this Fall. The 130-year-old venue is shifting from Bowery Presents-led talent buys and promotions to its own internal team as of September 1 (excluding already scheduled shows).

"[This] is just us wanting to better integrate the three rooms -- the Marlin Room [with a 500-person capacity], Studio [300 cap.], and the Ballroom [1500 cap.] -- as far as crowd flow, set times. Making sure that our rooms are better utilized," Webster Hall Presents' Rich Pawelczyk told Billboard.

Pawelcyzk stressed that Webster Hall Presents' relationship with Bowery Presents remains more than amicable. "We are shareholders in Bowery Presents -- and we have co-promotions forthcoming at places like Terminal 5," he said. "But [Bowery Presents] have a lot on their plate that they're doing around the country, and we wanted to keep our emphasis on New York City."

The new direction appears to be part of a larger strategy of growth and diversification for Webster Hall Presents, which opened a new venue, Slake, located between 7th & 8th Aves. on 30th St in the Herald Square neighborhood of Manhattan. That venue has brought in bookings such as a recent show from Disclosure, the UK production duo whose profile seems to be on a continuous rise.

Webster Hall Presents also co-promotes with Robert Sillerman's "ED-empire" SFX Entertainment, partnering on Life in Color in Albany, the "world's largest paint party" that SFX acquired in August, 2012.

As well, the company may be making a move across the East River in the future. "Let's just say that we have plans -- other strategic alliances for which the details are being sorted," Pawelczyk said of the company's future in Brooklyn.