The New Orleans location, shown in a rendering, opens this month. The design will feature a voodoo and French Quarter vibe. (Courtesy Live Nation)
The New Orleans Fillmore, opening this month, will fill 35,000 square feet of prime space on the second floor of Harrah’s Casino in the downtown area.
“Harrah’s has had the NOLA space for the last 18 years,” said Dave Fortin, senior vice president of marketing and business development for Live Nation’s Clubs and Theatres division. “The space has always been earmarked for live entertainment but has never had an entertainment partner.”
Harrah’s is the landlord and will have no say in how the venue is run or who is booked. The Philadelphia branch of EwingCole, which works on many of the Fillmore projects, designed the space.
The lease is for 20-plus years. Live Nation did not reveal the cost of the project.
“We have our own entrance off Canal Street, which will allow us to put on shows for any age, including under-21 fans who couldn’t go inside the casino,” Fortin said.
Live Nation picked New Orleans for its eighth Fillmore primarily because it saw a gap in the marketplace.
“We thought a (general admission) space would be a perfect opportunity to serve the market,” he said. “The 2,000- to 2,500-capacity venue is our sweet spot. The last three Fillmores have fallen into that range.”
The Fillmore New Orleans’ capacity is 2,200. It’s divided into the music hall, a lobby bar that holds 300 people, and the VIP room, called BG’s Lounge to honor original Fillmore impresario Bill Graham, which can accommodate 200 people.
The Foo Fighters will play the first shows Feb. 15 and 16. Almost 30 shows have been booked, including Duran Duran, Willie Nelson, the Avett Brothers, Bob Weir and Jason Isbell. Ticket prices range from $25 to $75, and VIP will carry an additional charge.
Concessions are being handled in-house. “The Live Nation team has created a unique New Orleans-based menu that will include charcuterie boxes, cheese boxes, chicken pressed wraps, the Impossible Burger, Cajun poutine and Creole shrimp,” Fortin said.
“We’ve taken great care to make sure the food, the atmosphere and the look will have the underlying sense of the NOLA community,” he added. “This fills a really nice spot in the live entertainment landscape of one of the country’s most vibrant cities.”