New upgrades render The Brooklyn Mirage one of the country’s premier music venues [Review]AG 050522 BrooklynMirage Alesso @ChrisLavado. 34

New upgrades render The Brooklyn Mirage one of the country’s premier music venues [Review]

On July 1, 2017, The Brooklyn Mirage formally opened its doors. In the five years that have followed, the “Mirage,” as it’s known colloquially, has cultivated a reputation as one of New York’s and the Northeast’s premier live music venues. But on May 2, the geographic footprint of this title expanded; through the revelation of new renovations, The Brooklyn Mirage has earned its status as one of the country’s preeminent music sites.

In the United States, this distinction belongs to a variety of music venues; New York’s Madison Square Garden (MSG) is among them, as are Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Washington’s Gorge Amphitheatre. Identification of anything as a “top” something is often not without subjectivity. But in the landscape of the nation’s most-hallowed locales for live music, these represent a small sample of the venues that are widely—and largely indisputably—regarded as choice sites. The Brooklyn Mirage has newly won its way into this select group on account of its enhanced production caliber, other characteristics such as event curation and crowd temperament notwithstanding.

In the context of the Northeast event circuit, the 80,000-square foot site—situated on the East Williamsburg/Queens border—is a uniquely large space that can serve, at most, 6,000 attendees. For context, that’s exactly double the capacity of Washington, DC’s Echostage, a hybrid nightclub/concert hall reputed for its state-of-the-art trappings. Fellow New York music sites tend to serve smaller capacities; Terminal 5 and Webster Hall, for instance, can accommodate 3,000 and 1,010 people (ballroom), respectively. Thus, in the time since its 2017 opening, size has been on The Brooklyn Mirage’s side, directly driving its recognition as one of New York’s and one of the Northeast’s most highly regarded music venues from 2017 to 2021.

And though the Mirage’s capacity has been an inherent element of its appeal, impactful upgrades to the venue’s production are what ultimately push the Mirage into the “best in the country” conversation. Prior to 2022, the venue’s production capacity was somewhat limited; visuals were projected behind the decks and though the Mirage leveraged smoke, lighting, and pyrotechnics well, the absence of a large LED panel that could better accommodate an artist’s visuals while enhancing the viewing experience was noticeable. Further, although six pillars placed within the general crowd space had value as meeting spot markers for attendees estranged from their friends, they tended to obstruct view, rendering some positions in the crowd significantly less desirable than others. Yet as many event-goers in the New York metropolitan are already aware, this is no longer the case.

On May 2, just three days before the venue was scheduled to reopen for the 2022 spring/summer 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, complete with 1,000-plus LED panels displaying 30 million pixels in 15K ultra-wide resolution,
  • a 100-foot, custom-built roof, designed by HEINI to create “floating effect as a result of its modular spaceframe system,” and
  • removal of the venue’s pillars.

Of note, the roof is the “first fully domestically fabricated stage of its kind.”

Dancing Astronaut was live on location at the Mirage from May 5 – 6 for the venue’s first two days of 2022 programming, headlined by Alesso, with support from Acraze and Akki. The previews of the Mirage’s redesign proved faithful representations of what attendees were to experience on the ground. The video board, teased in all of its luminescent glory, amplified Alesso’s visual production in a fashion not previously seen at his Mirage sets of past years. Importantly, amid the absence of the Mirage’s pillars, this production could be seen in equal quality from any vantage point. The value of the pillars’ removal, however, was not limited to view; 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 preferred 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, owed in large part to the expanded creative licensure afforded by the introduction of the video board. As a result, visiting artists will be able to leverage visuals now more than ever before.

In summary, the Brooklyn Mirage has reigned as one of New York’s and the Northeast’s first choices of live music venues for years; but now, with the advent of renovations that add to its existing strengths, the Mirage has risen to its inherent potential to become one of the country’s premier live music sites. A must-see of the 2022 dance/electronic events circuit, The Brooklyn Mirage will host an array of artists across subgenres this spring and summer. View the venue’s event calendar here and see a photo gallery of shots from its reopening events (Alesso and Cityfox: Regenerate) here.

Featured image: Chris Lavado

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