After three decades as an autonomous venue, the Electric Factory in Philadelphia was purchased by AEG Presents in a deal declared earlier yesterday (Sept. 12). As part of the sale, AEG will search for a new name for the 3,000-capacity club — the Electric Factory brand is owned by Live Nation, who purchased the promotion business in 2000 during the SFX roll up , but not the actual Electric Factory venue.
In the meantime, the venue will be called North Seventh, a nod to its address at 421 N 7th on the city’s east side, blocks from the Festival Pier and RiverRink at Penn’s Landing. AEG were not able to work out a licensing deal for the name and logo that features kite-flying Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and will replaced it with a name from a promotion that comprises the chance to win free two tickets to every show at the venue through 2020 (if you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware).
The sale comes three years after AEG signed the exclusive rights to book the Electric Factory and the Underground Arts. AEG Present’s venue roster in Philadelphia also includes the Keswick Theatre, Union Transfer and the 13,000-cap Mann Centre for the Performing Arts.
“What a ride it’s been,” said Larry Magid, head of Electric Factory and Electric Factory Concerts in a statement to Billboard following the announcement he and partner Adam Spivak had sold the club, which will be managed by AEG’s Bowery Presents.
“We would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of fans who have attended the over 2,500 shows at Electric Factory from its original location at 22nd and Arch from 1968-1970 to its rebirth in 1995 at 7th and Willow,” Magid said in a statement. “A special thanks to all the employees, old and new, that have worked at the Factory over the years and to the great acts who have graced our stage, it’s been our privilege to work with you.”
The Electric Factory has hosted shows by Jimi Hendrix , Janis Joplin , Frank Zappa , Van Morrison , Cream , Rod Stewart , BB King , The Grateful Dead , Neil Young , Bruce Springsteen , Prince , Bob Dylan , Adele , Radiohead , Lady Gaga , David Bowie , Amy Winehouse , and many others
“This is not a retirement call,” said Magid, “but a continuation of the past eight years as Larry Magid Entertainment Group producing national and worldwide tours and Broadway shows in addition to our concert business.”
Magid has produced Live Aid and Live 8, Billy Crystal’s record-breaking “700 Sundays” special as well as “Beautiful — The Carole King Musical.” Spivak will continue to serve as partner Underground Arts and Bonfire Entertainment, as well as his reald estate firm Shovel Ready Projects, LLC.
“In the spirit of new beginnings, Adam and I wish AEG great success with our baby as well as Live Nation with their opening of The Met Philadelphia later this year,” Magid said in a statement. “50 years ago we blazed a path and we feel very comfortable that the tradition of great music in one of the greatest music cities in the world will be well represented and will continue for many years to come. Thank you for all your support through the years!”