Webster Hall, New York City’s notable, intimate concert venue in the middle of Manhattan, has been under construction for nearly two years. Following years-worth of renovations, the venue will reopen next weekend with a performance from hip-hop star Jay-Z.
Nestled in-between Third and Fourth Avenues at 125 East 11th Street, the historic Webster Hall has stood in New York City since 1186 – making it the city’s oldest venue that is still operating today. With three unique spaces — the Grand Ballroom for larger acts, The Marlin Room for a bar/lounge scene, and The Studio for underground artists — it’s a hidden gem within a city surrounded by larger, more modern concert spaces. Throughout the past 130 years, it has hosted concerts for legendary artists like Eric Clapton, KISS, The Beastie Boys, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses.
This will be Jay-Z’s first time performing in East Village. The gig is dubbed “The B-Sides 2,” which will include a set featuring rarely-performed tracks like Reasonable Doubt‘s “Politics as Usual” and The Blueprint‘s “Never Change,” similar to his initial “B-Sides” show at Manhattan’s Terminal 5 back in May 2015.
“When we were thinking about who would be the right choice to open this legendary venue, we knew it had to be a world-famous New York City icon,” BSE Global CEO Brett Yormark said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “No one fits that description better than Jay-Z, who will join an unparalleled list of celebrated performers who have played Webster Hall.”
In 2017, Brooklyn Sports Entertainment Global and The Bowery Presents acquired the venue’s rights and assets and within six months, closed down the venue to begin renovations. According to Billboard, AEG Presents chairman Jay Marciano said BSE and Bowery planned to spend around $10 million on renovations to bring the three rooms “up to contemporary standards and add a few more customer features.”
The New York Times noted that these new features include an elevator, new bathrooms, new front doors, and acoustic treatments in the ballroom. However, most of the space was untouched, as Yormark wanted to keep the “soul, the grit, the history of the venue.”
John Moore, founder of The Bowery Presents, explained in a statement that he founded the company back in 2004 and actually booked Sonic Youth at Webster Hall. Now, he’s “thrilled to return to our roots” and “begin this storied chapter for artists and fans alike.”
The Webster Hall’s reopening show featuring Jay-Z will take place on April 26. The next day, DJ Dillon Fancis will take the stage, followed by a two-night sold-out show by Rosalia. The venue’s concert calendar continues with shows from artists like Patti Smith, MGMT, Vampire Weekend, Chase Atlantic, and Joyce Manor.
Check out the full list of Webster Hall’s upcoming concerts here.