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The Knockdown Center brings live music, exhibitions and more to Maspeth

Mar. 8, 2023 By Gabriele Holtermann

The Knockdown Center at 52-19 Flushing Ave. in Maspeth, Queens, hosted a private media tour on Tuesday, March 7 of one of New York City’s most diverse and happening destinations for music, live performances, exhibitions, and other events.

Sitting on 3 acres, the 50,000 square-foot former factory opened in 2014 as an art center, concert, and nightlife venue. The factory was built in 1903 and housed the Gleason-Tiebout glass factory and then the Manhattan Door Factory. The venue’s name pays homage to the knock-down door frame, invented by Samuel Sklar in 1956.

The Ready Room Bar is one of the many bars at the Knockdown Center. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The sprawling venue includes eight indoor spaces and a backyard that comes alive every summer with concerts and parties, including a gallery, which hosts public programs and exhibitions showcasing work from artists from all over the world and the Basement, an underground techno dance club. Here electronic music fans can dance to the beat of top and up-and-coming techno artists from around the world from 1030 pm till the wee morning hours.

The main hall -or the Atrium-holds up to 2,000 people and features a stage. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The tour started in the Main Space. The 20,000 square foot space is a state-of-the art room for concerts and events and can host up to 2,000 guests.

Tyler Myers, executive director and co-founder of the Knockdown Center, described it as the “most used” upstairs space and has seen the likes of Fatboy Slim.

Myers, a fine art producer, came across the building while he was looking for a space to paint a large tent. The historical and industrial architecture inspired him to turn the factory into a multi-purpose venue.

“So when I first got here, it was a bit far away in 2011,” Myers said. “But I sort of was like, ‘Holy crap, this is three acres. It’s 50,000 square feet under roof with with a basement. Let’s see what’s going on.'”

Drawing from his experience as corporate operations director for House of Blues/Lives Nations, where he oversaw 13 venues and opened five, Myers envisioned to turn the factory into one-of-a kind venue.

The Main Space has hosted a diverse genre of music entertainment, from Carnegie Hall performing “West Side Story” over Unsound Festival and Red Bull Music Academy Festival to Jazz performances. Recent highlights include a sold-out show from Tove Lo, and upcoming events will bring Bushwig, Yeat, Young Nudy, Eric Andre’s 40th Birthday Party, and Hot Chip, to name a few.

“The architecture sort of permits a kind of event in my opinion, that is difficult to otherwise find, or at least expensive to do otherwise,” Myers said. “And that’s ultimately what was most exciting for me.”

The Knockdown Center in Maspeth, Queens has become the choice location for artists, innovators, and audience. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

“Outline,” a quarterly concert series, showcases the curatorial interest of the Knockdown team.

“The goal of that series is both to showcase our curatorial interests and tastes,” Jeff Klingman, curator and talent buyer, said. “Trying to be completely cross genre, bringing in hip hop artists, pop artists, live artists, sort of underground legends like ESG and Lightning Bolt.”

Klingman explained that the goal was to put together shows on a “human curatorial level, not necessarily things that might be fed to you by an algorithm” and also bring in talent that have outgrown the smaller clubs.

“We’re a place for them to bring that show,” Klingman said. ” We are trying to put on everything, honestly, not just kind of nightlife stuff. But we’re trying to shepherd and bring in stuff that is meaningful to us is as eclectic music fans across the whole spectrum.”

For upcoming events and concerts, visit : https://knockdown.center/upcoming

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