Today, B.B. King Blues Club & Grill announced its final run of shows in its current Times Square location (237 W 42nd St) in New York City, after 18 years of hosting some of music and entertainment’s most revered names–including Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Etta James, Alicia Keys, The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, Jay-Z, Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Al Green, Wilson Pickett, Bo Diddley, and B.B. King himself.
According to a press statement, the decision to close its doors was “due to escalating rent”, explaining that “the historic venue and supper club is forced to close its doors with a final performance on April 29, 2018.” However, they promise, “B.B. King Blues Club is in the process of selecting a new location in Manhattan to relocate the venue.”
In addition to this sad announcement, B.B. King’s announced the final schedule before they close their doors. Buddy Guy, Rick Ross, Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh + Special Guests, El Gran Combo, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, and more will all celebrate the venue’s legacy for one last time. Buddy Guy will headline the final B.B. King Blues Club show on Sunday, April 29. Check out the full schedule below, and click here to purchase tickets. Additional shows will be announced in the next few days.
In a press release, Tsion Bensusan, Chief Operating Officer states,
It is with an extremely heavy heart that we share the news about B.B. King Blues Club’s closing. Despite many sold out shows, the location’s rent escalated to an unsustainable level, leaving us no choice but to close our doors. Unfortunately, this has become a growing trend in New York City, with other iconic music venues and businesses falling victim to opportunistic property owners. This venue’s legacy extends much further than the stage, playing a role in Times Square’s revitalization two decades ago. It is a shame that wasn’t taken into consideration regarding its future in the area. Nevertheless, we feel extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from both fans and artists over the years to create some truly historic and incredible memories in this space. We hope that we can find a new place to call home very soon so we can continue bringing live music to you all.
Furthermore, all shows scheduled beyond the April 29th closing date will be moved to various venues throughout the city. The weekly Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring The Harlem Gospel Choir will give their two final performances at B.B. King’s on April 22nd and 29th. B.B. King’s is currently working with the group to find a new home for their weekly residency which will be announced shortly. Lucille’s Grill, located inside the venue, will remain open until April 29th and will feature sets by club favorites: B.B. King Blues Club All-Stars, Jon Paris, A Decade of Soul, and more.
B.B. King Blues Club & Grill Closing Week Celebration Show Schedule:
April 17 & 18 Buddy Guy
April 22 William Bell’s Memphis Soul Revue
April 23 Rick Ross
April 25 Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh + Special Guests
April 26 El Gran Combo
April 28 George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic + Special Guests
April 29 Buddy Guy
[Source: Live for Live Music]