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Maspeth’s Knockdown Center celebrates biggest and busiest year in 2023

Dec. 22, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Maspeth’s Knockdown Center calls 2023 its biggest and busiest year to date with more than 370,000 attendees across upwards of 215 events overall.

The Knockdown Center, which serves as a cross-disciplinary epicenter for performance artists, expanded from its underground roots to incorporating a wide array of mainstream artists at its venue this year.

Among the many highlights of this year’s performances are the sold-out shows with comedian and actor Eric Andre for his 40th Birthday Party, British songwriter and producer Jai Paul, and Brooklyn Rockband LCD Soundsystem.

Jam-packed performances from Tinashe, Tove Lo, Wu-Tang Clan, and Yeat brought the Knockdown Center into the mainstream spotlight this year, also gaining the attention of big-ticket bands as stops on their tours, such as Beach Fossils, Black Country, New Road, and numerous others.

Wu-Tang Clan at Knockdown. Photo by Kevin Condon

Knockdown’s ability to cultivate some of the most mysterious and long-awaited returns of artists, like singer and songwriter Sky Ferreira’s first performance in years, Tangerine Dream, and UNKLE’s first in more than a decade, gave audiences a unique experience.

The expansion of in-house festivals such RUSH and WIRE at Knockdown gave the performance venue and event attendees a melting pot of niche music scenes right inside of Queens, while keeping true to its underground roots.

In 2023, Knockdown Center also debuted its brand new, world-class sound system from L-Acoustics. The installation of the new sound system completed a venue-wide sonic overhaul, allowing attendees to experience their favorite artists in the most pristine detail.

Knockdown Center kept true to being a long-lasting essential destination for the LGBTQIA+ community. Offering a spectrum of programming and a safe space for anyone to immerse themselves in their interests, Knockdown hosted Pride parties including Pitchfork and Them’s inaugural Night Out, to name a few.

Tinashe at Knockdown. Photo by Kevin Condon.

The Maspeth performance center is also home to a 19,000 square foot backyard and patio space where hundreds of fans and community members came together each weekend. While under the sun or stars, attendees danced to the sounds of Everyday People, Soul Summit, Swamp Dogg, and more noteworthy artists.

Knockdown continues to honor the history of the building it resides in by hosting exhibitions that respond to its unique architecture and dimensions. The 50,000 square foot building was once the Gleason-Tiebout glass factor, and later the Manhattan Door factory.

Samuel Sklar created the knock-down door frame at the Knockdown location in 1956, giving it its name, and the Sklar family has retained ownership of the building since then.

As the Knockdown Center prepares for 2024, new event listings are already live on its website knockdown.center.

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