by: Rachel Narozniak
May 12, 2022
On July 1, 2017, the Brooklyn Mirage officially opened. Over the next five years, the “Mirage,” as it is colloquially known, earned a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in New York and the Northeast. But on May 2, the geographical footprint of this title widened; thanks to the revelation of new renovations, the Brooklyn Mirage has earned its status as one of the preeminent music venues in the country.
In the United States, this distinction belongs to a variety of music venues; Madison Square Garden (MSG) in New York is one of them, as are the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado and the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. Identification of everything as a “top” Something is often not without subjectivity. But in the landscape of the nation’s holiest venues for live music, these represent just a small sampling of the venues that are widely — and largely indisputably — considered prime venues. The Brooklyn Mirage has recently earned its place in this select group due to its improved production caliber, notwithstanding other characteristics such as event retention and crowd temperament.
Within the context of the Northeast event circuit, the 80,000 square foot venue, located on the East Williamsburg/Queens border, is a unique space that can accommodate a maximum of 6,000 attendees. For context, that’s exactly double the capacity of Washington, DC’s Echostage, a hybrid nightclub/concert venue renowned for its state-of-the-art equipment. Other New York music sites tend to offer smaller capacities; Terminal 5 and Webster Hall, for example, can accommodate 3,000 and 1,010 people respectively (ballroom). So, since its opening in 2017, the size has been on the side of the Brooklyn Mirage, directly leading to its recognition as one of the largest in New York. and one of the most popular concert halls in the North East from 2017 to 2021.
And while the Mirage’s capability has been an inherent part of its appeal, impactful upgrades to the production of the place are what ultimately pushed the Mirage into the “best in the land” conversation. Prior to 2022, the venue’s production capacity was somewhat limited; visuals were projected behind the bridges and while the Mirage makes good use of smoke, lighting and pyrotechnics, the lack of a large LED panel which could better accommodate an artist’s visuals while enhancing the experience visual was noticeable. Additionally, although six pillars placed in the general space of the crowd had value as markers of meeting points for participants away from their friends, they tended to obstruct the view, making certain positions in the crowd noticeably less desirable than others. Yet, as many event-goers in the New York metropolis already know, that is no longer the case.
On May 2, just three days before the venue’s scheduled reopening for the Spring/Summer 2022 season, the Brooklyn Mirage heightened anticipation for its return with the announcement of three key upgrades:
- A 200-foot-wide, 30-foot-tall video board, with more than 1,000 LED panels displaying 30 million pixels in ultra-wide 15K resolution,
- a custom-built 100-foot roof, designed by HEINI to create “a floating effect through its modular spatial structure system”, and
- removal of the pillars from the room.
It should be noted that the roof is the “first stage of its type entirely manufactured in the country”.
dancing astronaut was live onsite at the Mirage from May 5-6 for the first two days of the venue’s 2022 lineup, headlined by Alesso, with support from Acraze and Akki. Glimpses of the redesigned Mirage proved to be accurate representations of what participants were expected to experience in the field. The video card, teased in all its luminescent glory, amplified Alesso’s visual output in a way not seen before on his Mirage sets of years past. Importantly, amid the absence of the Mirage’s mainstays, this production could be seen in equal quality from any vantage point. The value of removing the pillars, however, was not limited to sight; it’s worth mentioning that the ‘new Mirage’ felt noticeably roomier without them.
Many dance/electronic producers have cited The Brooklyn Mirage as one of their favorite places to play; in a recent interview with dancing astronaut, Dom Dolla ranked the Mirage among Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Coachella and Electronic Daisy Carnival Las Vegas. This sentiment can be expected to increase among dance/electronic acts, thanks in large part to the expanded creative license afforded by the introduction of the video card. As a result, guest artists will be able to take advantage of the visuals more than ever.
In summary, the Brooklyn Mirage has reigned as one of New York City’s and the Northeast’s top concert venue picks for years; but now, with the advent of renovations that add to its existing assets, the Mirage has achieved its inherent potential to become one of the country’s leading live music venues. A staple of the 2022 dance/electronic events circuit, The Brooklyn Mirage will host an array of artists from all subgenres this spring and summer. Check out the venue’s events calendar here and see a photo gallery of its reopening events (Alesso and Cityfox: Regenerate) here.
Featured Image: Chris Lavado