Three weeks after its overcrowded opening rock concert left fans crying foul, the Brick nightclub in downtown Minneapolis announced renovation plans Tuesday -- and the relocation of four more of its sold-out concerts to other venues in the meantime.
The three-story Warehouse District facility, which is run by concert industry giant AEG Live, will lower its ticket-sale capacity, add risers to improve sightlines in the balcony and install 25 new TV monitors. The club has already raised the height of its stage by a foot and started work on doubling the front entrance to four doors.
While all the improvements are finished over the next two months, the club's operators have found new homes for its biggest shows. Last week, they announced that Friday's sold-out gig with No. 1 band fun. would relocate to Myth nightclub in Maplewood, a venue with a 3,000-person capacity.
Three more sold-out Brick concerts have been newly moved to Myth: Incubus on May 9, Shinedown on May 15 and Marilyn Manson on May 18. A limited number of new tickets to all three shows will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. All original Brick tickets will be honored at Myth.
A fourth concert, the June 1 appearance by the Shins, will move to the Orpheum Theatre. An e-mail will be sent to Shins ticketholders about exchanging their general-admission tickets for reserved seats, which will start Friday at 10 a.m. at the State Theatre box office.
"No matter what, we want these shows to be successful, and for the fans to get what they paid for," said the Brick's general manager Jeff Kehr.
The Brick's management made the unprecedented decision to give a refund to all ticketholders after the venue's March 19 debut with Jane's Addiction, where fans complained of the long line outside and overcrowding and poor sightlines inside.
Since issuing an apology and the refund notice four days after the concert, the Brick's operators remained tight-lipped about plans even while adding new concerts.
The biggest question, though, remains: How many people will the Brick let through the door the next time it hosts a sold-out concert? The venue's capacity was initially announced as 2,100 people, but the space proved too small even for the 1,600 or so fans on hand for Jane's Addiction. Part of the discrepancy stems from the Brick's sizable basement, which counts toward the capacity even though fans cannot see the stage from there.
"You will definitely see a reduction in ticket sales to a much more comfortable level," Kehr said. He declined to give specific numbers except to say, "We will err on the side of caution for the foreseeable future."
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