Live Nation and Michael Swier, co-owner of two of New York City’s most iconic music venues, have announced a new promotions and booking joint venture called Mercury East Presents. The name is a nod to one of Swier’s venues, Mercury Lounge, the little sister of Swier’s other landmark space, Bowery Ballroom.
Both concert venues were formerly booked by The Bowery Presents, which Swier co-founded with John Moore and earlier this year sold off to AEG Presents. In early August, the Moore-led Bowery Presents announced it was parting ways with Swier and the Bowery Ballroom/Mercury Lounge, paving the way for a courtship with Live Nation.
Mercury East will be focused on the NYC live market and have a portfolio that includes the Bowery and the Mercury, along with Live Nation’s Irving Plaza, Gramery Theatre, Warsaw and Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. The firm will also lend a hand booking open rooms like The Beacon Theater and Madison Square Garden, and will collaborate with Founders Entertainment, the team behind Governors Ball and The Meadows.
“Swier and his team are the total package, delivering industry expertise, relationships, and landmark venues that complement the greater Live Nation portfolio,” said Michael Rapino, president and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Mercury East is the ideal partnership, and will allow Live Nation to bring New York’s residents and visitors more music and events than ever before.”
Added Swier, “The foundation of Mercury East reaffirms our commitment to quality and streamlines production by officially uniting the venues we own and operate with our key partners. The team behind Mercury East remains focused on cultivating bands throughout all stages of their success, as well ensuring audiences have a premium experience, from ticket purchase to show’s end.”
Swier opened The Mercury Lounge in 1994 and the Bowery Ballroom in 1998. Over the years the two clubs have worked in tandem, with bands like The National and Interpol getting their starts at the smaller Mercury before graduating to the Bowery. Mercury East will be based out of Live Nation’s headquarters across town in the Meat District neighborhood.