Friends, friends, friends! Can you jump up and down with us as you read this article? That’s the mindset we want you to have as you read about Elsewhere, the long-rumoured music and art venue in East Williamsburg, created by the people who used to run the legendary Williamsburg party and music loft, Glasslands which closed in 2014.
Yesterday Bushwick Daily was invited to take a first peak at Elsewhere located at 599 Johnson Ave., and let us tell you, the venue is nothing short of glorious despite the ongoing final touches before it’s ready to open for the public in November.
Popgun Presents, the company, which owns of the venue, has also released the programming for Elsewhere’s first season, so read on.
When we arrived at 599 Johnson Ave. we could barely make out the music venue behind the iron gates. But as soon as one of the Popgun partners Jake Rosenthal open the doors, we could tell that Elsewhere will be something else.
It is not as giant as the corporately owned Brooklyn Steel but with its 24,000 square feet it is large enough to compete with some of the most prominent music venues in North Brooklyn, and is a huge step forward from Popgun’s humble DIY beginnings.
Rosenthal promptly ushered us into the main performance space, the Hall, which can accommodate up to 675 people. There Dhruv Chopra, another one of the three partners, was leaning against the stage and listening to the blasting sound system with a blissful grin on his face. “We have just installed our soundsystem,” Jake explained with a similarly blissed out expression. Elsewhere is boasting a state-of-the-art, four-point L-Acoustics sound system, whose audio can be ported to various rooms throughout the venue.
Other rooms at Elsewhere include the smaller one of the performance spaces called Zone One, which has the capacity of 200 people, and promises to showcase emerging and local artists seven nights a week. The space we’re obviously most excited about is Elsewhere’s rooftop, which is huge, capable of hosting 500 patrons at once, and will host an array of parties, film nights, open-air art installations, etc. The roof will open in spring 2018. Elsewhere has a build-in art gallery, which will offer rotating art shows. The final room where we can imagine spending a chunk of our time is the Loft Cafe, which will be open even outside the ticketed events and will offer small dishes and lotsa coffee.
The venue has a very raw and industrial feel, with some of the original walls exposed, very fitting at the industrial Johnson Avenue. However, the unique aesthetic, which was one of the factors to make Glasslands so memorable, is also palpable. We really dig the light wall installation behind the main stage, which is capable of changing colors and light patterns. Apparently, there’s more of art installation elements to come.
Popgun Presents has been booking bands in Brooklyn for a decade now, and Elsewhere’s programming for their first season reflects their taste. Expect many emerging as well as more established indie artists including Parquet Courts, No Age, ADULT., Anamanaguchi, MNDSGN, Sunflower Bean, Kllo, Palm, Guantanamo Baywatch, Humans, Celebration, P.O.S, Bruno Major, and TOMI.
If you cannot but live for the thump, the venue has prepared a line-up of club nights with DJs including Jlin, Octave One, Classixx, lori, Poolside, Stacey Pullen, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Cyril Hahn, Juan Atkins, Halal & Relaxer, Moon Boots, Total Freedom, and Kölsch. Moreover, a popular techno party The Bunker will celebrate its 15th anniversary at the venue with a massive multi-room takeover.
“We believe that fully independent and underground venues still play an important role in New York’s artistic landscape,” Popgun Presents said in a release. “As was the case at Glasslands, Elsewhere will preserve the independent atmosphere that serves as a haven for audiences and artists who care about art and music.”
And we couldn’t be more excited about that.
All photos by Sam Gold courtesy of Elsewhere.