Over 150 venues in New York have banded together to form New York Independent Venue Association.
Location: New York, USA
Capacity: The Brooklyn Mirage - 5000, The Great Hall - 3400, The Kings Hall - 800
Brooklyn-based Avant Gardner almost didn't exist. The gargantuan entertainment site — which comprises the Brooklyn Mirage, the Great Hall and The Kings Hall — is now defined by its industrial-alternative aesthetics. But, back in 2016, until last minute licenses came through, the venue was a series of empty warehouses. Now, with a combined capacity of over 8,000 people across an 80,000-square-foot area, it’s the second-largest venue in Brooklyn and has become a sought-after venue for any artist to perform in.
Having hosted the likes of Black Coffee, Aphex Twin, Dixon, Rezz, Disclosure, Kaskade and RÜFÜS DU SOL, the ever-changing venue is also a playground for Cityfox, the New York-based label which focuses on house and techno. After closing during the majority of the pandemic, Avant Gardner opened back in July. Celebrating the re-opening through sets from Bonobo, Maceo Plex and Stephan Bodzin, the venue is now looking forward to continuing its mission of “celebrating community and culture through a diverse calendar”. In particular, their Higher Level series — meant to showcase artists “at the top of their craft” and focus on figures of “historical importance” — the series epitomises the excellent craft and skill needed to perform at this stand-out venue.
Location: New York City, NY, USA
The gentrified neighbourhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, is defined by its hip-yet-gritty appearance. On one block, visitors encounter posh eateries and colourful murals, and on the next, barbed-wire-lined fences and abandoned factories tell a different story about the borough’s industrial past.
This clashy aesthetic is embodied by the two juxtaposing faces of a nightlife haunt that thrives there within a retired 80,000-square-foot steel manufacturing mill.
Enter: the dimly lit Avant Gardner and its adjacent outdoor oasis, The Brooklyn Mirage, which has recently welcomed names like Black Coffee, Aphex Twin, Dixon, Rezz, Disclosure, Kaskade and Rufus Du Sol. In addition to massive bookings, the ever-changing venue remains a sanctuary for its flagship brand, Cityfox — a New York-based label that brings emerging house and techno to Brooklyn’s most discerning audiophiles.
Avant Gardner’s indoor arena boasts three different-sized rooms, each with unique accoutrements that range from oversized chandeliers to stained glass and motorised rigs.
“This is a key element to the concept because it allows us to create a path for artists to grow in the market as their careers thrive and their fanbases expand,” says head of programming, Kenny Schachter. “Artists that play the Kings Hall often come back the following year and play the Great Hall, and continue growing toward our largest stage, The Brooklyn Mirage.”
The latter boasts immersive 360-degree visuals, which are cast against winding staircases and balconies. Thus the exteriors of Avant Gardner bear the visage of a palace — a stark contrast to the structure’s blue-collar beginnings.