Webster Hall concertgoers will be in an “Empire State of Mind” when they return to the East Village venue this weekend.
The concert hall will officially reopen Friday with a performance by Jay-Z, new owners Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment revealed last week. The 7 p.m. show, dubbed "B-Sides 2," completely sold out within hours of being announced. Resale tickets, available on sites like StubHub, range from $700 to $4,500.
Similar to his Terminal 5 "B-Sides" show in 2015, the artist plans to deliver freestyle tracks and songs he rarely performs.
“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,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “No one fits that description better than Jay-Z, who will join an unparalleled list of celebrated performers who have played Webster Hall.”
TIDAL, Jay-Z’s streaming service, is offering fans the chance to win their way into the sold-out show by recording a video of themselves "spitting their best" rendition of one of the artist’s B-Side songs. Fans must tag #TIDALXJAYZ and @TIDAL in their posts. Entry closes 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Opening performances by Dillon Francis (Saturday) and Rosalia (Monday and Tuesday), are also sold out.
The historic venue will reopen after nearly 19 months of renovations. After being acquired by BSE and The Bowery Presents in April 2017, the 25-year-old staple of the city’s music scene shuttered for updates that included the planned transformation of the Marlin concert room, Grand Ballroom, and studio space.
Though few details of the venue’s changes have been revealed, AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano ensures the updates aim to stay true to the hall’s original features.
“In renovating one of New York’s most historic and iconic venues, our goals were simple and straightforward; maintain the integrity of the space, modernize it to create an incredible concert experience for fans and performers, and book a dynamic mix of artists in music today,” Marciano said in a statement. “Today’s announcement of JAY-Z to open Webster Hall, along with an eclectic lineup of artists throughout its opening month, achieves all of those goals positioning the venue to continue its success for decades to come.”
Previously announced acts set for Webster include Patti Smith and Her Band, MGMT, Empire of the Sun, Sigrid, TroyBoi, Old Dominion, Broken Social Scene, Real Estate, Big Thief and more.
Known as one of the few clubs open to 19-year-olds, the landmarked nightclub built in 1886 became a staple for coming-of-age teens after opening under the ownership of brothers Steve and Lon Ballinger on Oct. 2, 1992. Whether the age requirement will change under new management remains unclear.