The Allman Brothers Band has played 190 shows over the course of its annual 15-show residencies at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The really hot ticket for the band’s next March Madness would have been the 200th performance at the Upper West Side venue. However, that 200th concert may not happen.
The Allman Brothers seem to be in good health, recovering from keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Allman’s illness that sidelined the 2008 Beacon performances. The theater has also completed its $16 million restoration. Next February, however, the Beacon plans to turn over its stage to Cirque du Soleil for a multiple month-long run that may become a permanent booking.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which holds a 20-year lease on the Beacon and has 17 years remaining, also owns Madison Square Garden, the WaMu Theater (where Cirque’s Wintuk has been presented for the past two Christmas holiday seasons) and Radio City Music Hall (where Cirque plans a four month summer run starting in 2011).
So where will the Allman Brothers wind up playing their yearly jam? “It’s up for discussion,” Allman Brothers Band’s manager Bert Holman advised TicketNews. “Nothing is firm.”
In the early years of the Beacon run, they went to Radio City Music Hall for a year but did not feel that the venue was suited for them. Radio City is about twice the size of the Beacon. WaMu does not feel funky enough for the jammers, and Madison Square Garden with its six times capacity of the Beacon is too large for the multi-night concept.
The Allman Brothers band has been promoted for a long time by Ron Delsener, first part of at Delsener/Slater Enterprises and then SFX, Clear Channel Entertainment and currently Live Nation.
The best venue for the Allmans may be the Nokia Theatre, which is owned by AEG Live, which is Live Nation’s main competitor, but it is only three-quarters capacity of the Beacon. Terminal 5 is controlled by another promoter, The Bowery Presents.
The likely choice may be the Hammerstein Ballroom, which is a Live Nation venue and has seats and general admission ticketing policies. The Beacon only has seated admission.