The House of Blues, a landmark music venue on the iconic Sunset Strip for more than two decades, will shut for good in the first week of August -– two years earlier than expected.
Live Nation, which operates the HOB chain, broke the news last year that its L.A. site would make way for a development that included hotel rooms, condos and an entertainment venue (not HOB), though it was said that the famous venue and its staff had until 2017 to vacate. Sources say it’ll close Aug. 3-5; it’s unclear why the wrecking ball will arrive so early.
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Live Nation has announced 197 employees would be laid-off starting from July 31, according to a notice filed with the state Employment Development Department and reported in the Los Angeles Business Journal. Among those facing the cut will be bartenders, directors, cooks, sales people, stage hands, managers and security, though certain employees may be offered an opportunity to transfer to other Live Nation Entertainment operations, the report notes.
“We’ve had a terrific run with our Sunset location and we’re actively searching for a new venue as our flagship,” a Live Nation spokesperson told the title. “We’re actively working with our employee base to assure them of employment.”
L.A.’s HOB, which has hosted countless shows since it opened its doors in 1994, lists Steel Panther, DJ Quik and Machine Gun Kelly among its final bookings.
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According to a study into the most popular clubs in the country, published in 2014 by Billboard, the HOB in L.A. ranked No. 9 with attendance of 172,005. Live Nation commanded 21 out of the 25 spots on the annual list, and HOB venues dominated the top tier.
There are currently 12 HOB venues around the U.S., including sites in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Orlando, the top ranked venue on Billboard’s 2014 list with attendance of 339,470.