The owner of the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge is ending his relationship with the booking team at The Bowery Presents, announcing the hiring of a new talent buyer for the Mercury Lounge and paving the way for a potential new agreement with Live Nation.

According to an email obtained by Amplify, owner Michael Swier is “initiating a change in the lead talent buying role at the Mercury Lounge.”

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He went to write:

Moving on to other opportunities presented, Michelle Landry, as of Aug 14th, will no longer be point of contact; she will cover the shows she has booked and will assist in every way to make this transition proceed as smoothly as possible.  I would personally like to thank Michelle for all she has done for and meant to the Mercury Lounge.  She held it as her own and gave everything of herself; it’s continued success speaks volumes.  I wish her only the best wherever she finds herself on the pathway to talent buying greatness.

In her stead, I’m pleased to announce (and please welcome) Ariel Bitran.  Ariel has been in the throes of the NYC music scene as a musician and promoter/talent buyer for the past 12 years.  Most recently he has booked Sunnyvale, growing it into one of Brooklyn’s most formidable venues for Indie, Electronic and Alternative music.  Prior to that Ariel developed and booked the internationally renowned DIY Brooklyn venue Palisades.  During his NYC tenure, he has developed a long list of relationships with acts and agents alike; those who have yet to get to know him will find his passion for music is contagious. 

Sydney Sanial will continue serve in the role of assistant talent buyer, working directly and solely with Ariel and the Mercury Lounge.

The change comes after AEG and Bowery Presents confirmed that they were ending their booking relationship with the two venues.

“After careful thought and consideration, The Bowery Presents is parting ways with The Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge,” John Moore said in a statement to Amplify. “We have a long history with the venues as the exclusive booking and marketing arm and wish them well in the future. On the heels of our recently-opened Brooklyn Steel, the largest GA room in Brooklyn, and taking over booking duties for Webster Hall, we are constantly exploring new opportunities for music-lovers in New York City. Stay tuned for more announcements from The Bowery Presents very soon!”

Earlier this year, AEG Presents purchased The Bowery Presents after a lengthy courtship and negotiation. Included in the deal were Terminal 5, Rough Trade and the Music Hall of Williamsburg, as well as the newly-opened Brooklyn Steel in Williamsburg. Not included in the deal were the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge, which are owned by Michael Swier. He also owns the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles.
While the acquisition of Bowery Presents kept the 575-capacity Bowery Ballroom and the 250-capacity Mercury Lounge temporarily in the AEG/Bowery column, both sides agreed to part ways once their contract expired. AEG also owns Webster Hall, which it bought with Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment earlier this year.
 The change leaves open the opportunity for Live Nation to book both venues. Billboard has reached out to representatives from Live Nation, who told us they could not comment for this story.

It’s also unclear what this means for Ticketfly, which tickets both the Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge. Ticketfly signed both venues in April of last year, though it’s unclear how long the agreement is for, or what happens if the building switches promoters or brings Live Nation on board.

Dave Brooks
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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
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