Washington Avenue Armory says it can host concerts again

Thumbnail image for Washington Ave Armory by upstateNYer

photo: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikipedia

The Washington Avenue Armory says it's reached an agreement with the city of Albany that will allow it to hold music events again.

The status of the Armory as a music venue has been uncertain since an incident in mid October in which Albany police say a crowd outside a foam party at the Armory became combative -- seven were arrested, and the APD said three officers were injured. There have also been complaints from neighbors about the crowds -- one person described the foam party situation as being like "the zombie apocalypse." [TU]

The new agreement includes a handful of changes to how the venue operates for music events, spokesman Michael Corts says. Among them:

+ A 2,100 limit on floor tickets. (The armory can hold 4,480 for music events -- so anything above the floor limit will have to be in the seats.)
+ Doors must open by 7 pm. Events must end by 1 am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. On other nights, they have to wrap up by midnight.
+ Changed entrance procedures and will call windows aimed at keeping more structured lines into the building.

Corts say the Armory talked with neighborhood groups and nearby businesses while working out the new rules with the city.

There had been some talk following the October incident that the Armory would require a cabaret license. Corts says it still isn't clear that if that's the case for concerts there. But: "If the city requires us to apply, we'll apply." [TU]

(We have a call in with the city's Office of Buildings & Regulatory Compliance about the situation. We'll update when we hear back.)

Corts says the first music event back on the slate is "Masquerave," which had been originally scheduled for October 26. It's now planned for this Friday. He says they're expecting almost 3,000 people for the event. (Many of the electronic music shows at the venue draw between 2,000-3,000, according to Corts.)

In all, Corts says four events were postponed or canceled -- and an unknown number went unbooked because of the situation. "The uncertainty has hurt us, but we're ready to go back full force."


I think its great that a compromise was worked out! This incredible building will survive only if it is kept busy, and young people need places to go other than house parties. It needs to be kept under control and hopefully this will meet everyone's needs.

I've been told that the people who manage the Coyne Box... that is, the "Times Union Center" were brought in to manage the Armory. I haven't seen that mentioned in any of the dead tree rags. Also, the new security staff at the Armory is non-union and paid substantially less. Does anybody know if this is true?

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