(from Billboard Magazine, October 21, 2013) A New York City favorite, the Roseland Ballroom is set to close its doors in early 2014. Roseland first opened in Philadelphia, and then moved in 1919 to its current location in New York. The venue, presently booked by the concert giant Live Nation, was converted 55 years ago from a skating rink to a concert venue specializing in ballroom music. Over the life of the venue, it has housed acts of nearly every genre from early rock to disco and today’s growing electronic dance music. The venue continually grew in popularity and, thanks to a million dollar renovation, eventually saw more celebrated bands such as Nirvana, Rolling Stones, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The capacity of Roseland Ballroom allows the theater to compete with other smaller venues around the area including the AEG Best Buy Theater and Madison Square Garden’s Beacon Theatre. Roseland, the largest of these three venues, can hold 3,500 guests while the competitors can seat a mere 2,500 and 2,800, respectively.
The extensive history of the venue along with its popularity and limit on capacity pushed Roseland to the top of its industry sect. Still a favorite with many agents and their musicians, it is not likely that Roseland’s closure is due to financial difficulties. The value of the property on which the venue is situated, though, is a more likely cause for its cessation.
Many are surprised to hear of the ballroom’s desistance because of its popularity and rich musical history. A venue like Roseland, though, will surely go out with a bang. Currently scheduled to perform at Roseland are Panic! At the Disco, the Wanted, and Pretty Lights. A favorite among attendees and performers alike, larger acts, however, are expected to grace the stage before the venue decides to bolt the locks for good.