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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

The Bowery Presents: Roadrunner, the concert venue worth waiting for

Abby O’Connor

The Bowery Presents has added a new venture to their list: their very own concert venue, Roadrunner. The new venue opened in Allston this past March and has already had performances from the likes of Olivia Rodrigo and Mitski. 

The Bowery Presents started as a small company in New York seeking to book music and other events within their venues. Over time, they were able to become the sole presenter at the Royale and now own the Sinclar as well. Roadrunner is the first venue they’ve built and designed from the ground up. From the minute you step into the Roadrunner venue, you can tell that it was designed with music lovers in mind. 

One of the best parts of the venue is the art choice and design. The venue is not only a love letter to concert fanatics, but also to Allston residents. Right as you walk in, concertgoers can see a beautiful mural on the wall made by a Brooklyn artist. Throughout the rest of Roadrunner there are touches of the neighborhood here and there, one of the favorite pieces being a floor-to-ceiling skateboard ramp on the staircase from the first to second floor.

The commissioned art in the lounge reserved for artists’ friends and family is a nod to the venue’s name itself. Named after the single “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers and Jonathan Richman, the lounge is home to a piece inspired by the album the song is on, made by a local Brooklyn artist who works exclusively with construction paper. Additionally, the room has a few pieces made entirely out of beer bottle caps, the corner of one saying “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” which is how the song “Roadrunner” starts. 

The venue also holds four green rooms for artists to relax in, two small ones for openers and two large ones for headliners. Every room has its own theme and houses its own unique art. In true Boston fashion, the rooms are inspired by local sports teams, with one room each for the Celtics, Bruins, Red Sox and Patriots. The art displayed in these rooms is also commissioned from local Boston artists, again highlighting the venue’s ties to the community.

It’s clear with these little details how much care was put into crafting the concert venue, and this care extends to every part of Roadrunner. From the attendees to the artists and crew, Bowery Presents wants everyone to have a great experience.

The concert space makes sure to be inclusive to all, including an ADA section where handicap attendees are guaranteed to have a good view, baby changing tables in the second floor bathroom and inclusive restrooms so patrons can use whichever they feel most comfortable in. 

And don’t worry if you’re sitting in the mezzanine, it still sports a great view despite being further away from the stage, as the designer angled it on both sides. This section also includes tiered rows so you’ll never have to be stuck behind someone you can’t see over. Adding to the comfort, there are handrails that you can place your drinks on, really showing that they paid attention to little things that will make a concert experience better.

Not only does the venue have concertgoers in mind, but they also pay special attention to the artists and their team. 

Whereas the crew usually has to wait for the headliners to be done using their bathrooms before they can go in and shower, Roadrunner designed the venue with separate bathrooms and showers for the crews, which teams in the past have very much appreciated according to the tour leaders. They also have a washer and dryer accessible for artists and their teams to use in addition to an entire lounge room with a kitchen and TV that streams the show from the stage for friends and families of the artists. 

The venue also does a great job of being inclusive to artists of all audiences big or small. They want to host artists who are at any point in their career. There is a 60-foot stage so bigger artists don’t have to scale back their production, while smaller artists can use the space to create a more intimate experience.

Other features of Roadrunner include three bars on the first floor near the stage, with a fourth one upstairs in their lounge area. They also have an exclusive area to sell merchandise, which makes things much easier than finding a random place to set up. 

Not to mention the add-on option called the “Guest Room” in which VIPs have their own private entrance to avoid the lines and a whole separate area upstairs with a private bar, Wi-Fi available and a TV that streams the concert from the stage.

With ties to local life and touches from the community around the venue, Roadrunner fits right into the Boston music scene.

Check out their upcoming shows here.

Follow Abby on Twitter @astreabbs

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About the Contributor
Abby O’Connor, Arts & Entertainment Editor | she/her
Abby is a senior majoring in print/web journalism and minoring in english. When she's not writing for the Journal, you can find her sipping a cup of coffee either reading or playing video games. She also enjoys spending time with her dog and going on hikes. Music and arts is her passion and she hopes to find a job writing about what she loves. Follow Abby on Twitter @astreabbs Email her at [email protected]

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The Bowery Presents: Roadrunner, the concert venue worth waiting for