Knockdown Center Welcomes More Than 370,000 Attendees Across 215+ Events, Making 2023 Its Biggest & Busiest Year To Date | Shore Fire Media

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20 December, 2023Print

Knockdown Center Welcomes More Than 370,000 Attendees Across 215+ Events, Making 2023 Its Biggest & Busiest Year To Date

Knockdown Center Welcomes More Than 370,000 Attendees Across 215+ Events, Making 2023 Its Biggest & Busiest Year To Date

Highlights Include Sold-Out Shows with Eric Andre, Jai Paul & LCD Soundsystem, Expansion of Independent In-House Festivals Including Outline, RUSH & WIRE, Continued Partnerships with Bushwig, Horse Meat Disco & Pitchfork, Breakthrough Bookings For BASEMENT & Ruins, Plus So Much More

In 2023, Knockdown Center welcomed more than 370,000 music and art lovers across upwards of 215 events, marking its highest-attended and busiest year to date. With 50,000 square feet and nine distinct rooms – from the sprawling Main Hall to the underground BASEMENT and backyard Ruins – the Queens venue has remained a remarkably independent operation, while expanding its capabilities as a creative, cross-disciplinary haven for artists and audiences. Led by a small team of live music visionaries, Knockdown Center proved why it is the only space in the city adaptable enough to host extravaganzas as eclectic as Eric Andre's 40th Birthday Party, performances from 100 gecs, Jai Paul, James Blake, Kylie Minogue, LCD Soundsystem, Sky Ferreira, Tinashe and Wu-Tang Clan, celebratory events such as Bushwig and New York Night Train's Haunted Hop, as well as long-running parties like Horse Meat Disco, all in these past twelve months alone. 

Throughout the year, Knockdown Center has further emerged as the cultural epicenter for all edges of community, genre and the most elusive or omnipresent of performers, writing a new chapter in the 130-year history that is embedded in its brick walls and towering, wooden beams. During past lives, the building was both a glassblowing hub in the late 1800s and the birthplace of the industry-standard "knockdown" door frame in the 1900s. Now it is a go-to destination for PRIDE month and a year-round safe space for LGBTQIA+ programming, the home of regular in-house festivals like OutlineWIRE and RUSH, a place where members of niche music scenes can all come together, and a versatile destination for weddings, galas and more. "Just as the original factory served the needs of its neighborhood, the current performance space aims to reflect the city's creative zeitgeist," says Atlas Obscura. 

While Knockdown Center prepares for 2024, having already announced the next editions of RUSH and Outline, plus events headlined by Otoboke Beaver, The xx's Romy and more, here are ten highlights that have helped form the foundation of the venue's boundless next era:


1. The Reunited & Reclusive

Between Jai Paul's first-ever New York City show, Sky Ferreira's first in years, and Tangerine Dream and UNKLE's first in more than a decade, Knockdown Center has a special ability to manifest some of the most mysterious artists' long-awaited returns. Not to mention performances from newly reunited groups like Balance & Composure, Clipse and more. 

2. New Stop on Big Ticket Tours

Two sold-out shows with James Blake, four sold-out nights with LCD Soundsystem, a surprise appearance from Kylie Minogue and completely packed performances from Tinashe, Tove Lo, Wu-Tang Clan, Yeat and more: 2023 saw Knockdown Center go mainstream in the best way possible, while still retaining the underground diversity that defines its core. Simultaneously, more and more big-ticket bands are choosing Knockdown Center for the crucial New York City stop of their tours, such as Beach Fossils, Black Country, New Road, Hot Chip, Panda Bear & Sonic Boom, TV Girl and numerous others.

3. In-House Festivals Remain Independent & Ingeniously Curated

Amidst the proliferation of major corporations, it is rare that a venue of Knockdown Center's size and scale can stay fully independent, especially while producing several of its own in-house, tentpole festivals. Across three distinct events, Outline delivered "catnip for adventurous listeners" (The New York Times), while WIRE brought the world's best techno, and the newly-launched RUSH utilized the space's colossal potential to cultivate an energy unrivaled by any other rave in the city. 

4. Sounding Better Than Ever

After years of planning, Knockdown Center debuted its brand new, world-class sound system from L-Acoustics. Designed specifically for the space, the installation completed a venue-wide sonic overhaul, and attendees can now experience their favorite artists in the most pristine sonic detail the venue has ever delivered. In addition to the full L-Acoustics coverage upstairs and in the Ruins, they have worked closely with Funktion-One on new installations in additional rooms such as Texas, and downstairs in BASEMENT's neighboring Studio.

5. Long-Running Relationships Continue

In 2023, Knockdown Center further expanded its relationship with Pitchfork, teaming for a 2023 Year in Music Showcase headlined by 100 gecs, as well as Pride month's Night Out, featuring Tinashe, Lido Pimienta, Pom Pom Squad and more. Longtime partners like Bushwig, DesertFest, ElectroniCON, Horse Meat Disco, New York Night Train, Soul Summit, Tiki Disco and more also kept returning to the venue, while a new relationship brought back the first WFMU Record Fair in years. 

6. The Artists Take Over

Eric Andre's 40th Birthday Party was "Coachella for Adult Swim fans" (GQ). Avalon Emerson took over the venue for an indoor-outdoor, day-into-night journey, and fully-curated events from Ben Klock, Richie Hawtin and more all showed how Knockdown Center is able to give free reign for artists to realize their visions. 

7. A New Capitol For Global Scenes

From tehranian disco to the stoner rock of DesertFest, the vaporwave of ElectroniCON, contemporary Chinese rock courtesy of Friends From The East, and more, Knockdown Center is the only place where the most niche music genres will draw communities of thousands.


Knockdown Center has long been an essential destination for the LGBTQIA+ community, offering a spectrum of programming and a safe space for anyone to immerse themselves in what moves them most. This year's Pride parties included Pitchfork and them's inaugural Night Out, Horse Meat Disco, Octo Octa & Eris Drew, Wrecked & Carry and more, but the venue is proud to celebrate queer art and identity all year-round.  

9. The Ruins

In the Ruins' most exciting summer yet, nearly every weekend saw fans and community members gathering outside in Knockdown Center's backyard patio. Surrounded by 19,000 square feet of century-old structures, attendees danced under the sun and stars as they enjoyed the sounds of Everyday People, Soul Summit, Swamp Dogg, Tiki Disco and more. 

10. Electronic Music, Under & Above Ground 

Weekend after weekend, BASEMENT lineups proved why GeGa Japaridze and Téa Abashidze, bookers and co-founders of Knockdown Center's underground techno club, were recently named to New York Magazine's list of Most Powerful New Yorkers. Meanwhile, above ground in the Main Hall, two sold-out nights of Honey Dijon capped a superlative year of electronic music.

About Knockdown Center

Featuring programming of diverse formats and media, Knockdown Center aims to create a radically cross-disciplinary environment. The particularity of our architectural environment and history leads us to gravitate toward projects that demonstrate a sensitive reactivity to site and environment. This 50,000 square-foot building has seen continuous use for more than 100 years: first as the Gleason-Tiebout glass factory, then as Manhattan Door factory. It is named for the Knock-Down door frame that was invented here in 1956 by Samuel Sklar and remains an industry standard to this day. The frame could be shipped in pieces — or "knocked down" — and installed into existing walls, revolutionizing the speed and efficiency of building construction. The factory has since remained in the Sklar family and is again a site for innovation. Having undergone a renovation that is equal parts preservationist and state of the art, Knockdown Center now produces and hosts cultural events and exhibitions that respond to its unique architecture and dimensions.

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