Pier 54

<p> <a href="reviews/venue_reviews/hudson_river_park/"><img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/pier54rip.jpg" class="reflect" border="0" /></a> </p> ...

Pier 54

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

The 2012 RiverRocks concert series was moved to Pier 84 (also part of Hudson River Park), while Pier 54 undergoes repair. Pier 54 is now the main entrance to the Little Island in the Hudson River.

Hudson River Park’s venue is located on Pier 54, Manhattan, at West & West 13th Street (though the nearest points to cross West Street are at West 14th Street, a block to the north, or Horatio Street, three blocks to the south).  Like South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, it is an actual wooden pier, but Pier 54 is an old, out-of-service cruise pier (survivors of the Titanic were deposited there, and the Lusitania departed from there before being torpedoed and becoming a rallying cry for America’s entrance into WWI).  It was part of the Chelsea Piers, but was added to Hudson River Park in 1998.  During the summer, the annual Hudson RiverRocks Festival holds a series of concerts there, starting at 6:00 P.M.

The actual stage is located at the end of the long pier.  Being free, all-ages, and outdoors during the summer, most acts get quite a healthy turnout.  In fact, because the pier is so long, getting up front is a premium, and as the bands start fairly soon after doors open, a large line can form before doors, and continue on afterwards (though moves fairly quickly, once doors open).  This can create a real crush at the front, especially for younger-appeal and more energetic acts, and leave others farther away.  The lack of any sidewalls does mean the sound spreads & dissipates, but turning up the volume can make up for that.  The pier also gives an incredible view, albeit of New Jersey.  Food and drinks are on sale in the middle of the pier, though you need an ID check wristband to purchase beer.

Along with South Street Seaport, Central Park SummerStage, Prospect Park Bandshell, and now Williamsburg Waterfront (replacing the late McCarren Park Pool), Hudson River Park’s Pier 54 is one of New York City’s largest, regularly-used, all/mostly-free outdoor venues, though not as frequently used as the other four (but more so than once-a-year Battery Park).  While on the river, and thus not directly near any subway stops, it’s at least on the middle of the west of Manhattan, and easier to get to than any of those other outdoor venues.  RiverRocks wisely books active, energetic acts to play the Pier, as more sedate bands could get lost amidst the river (though this does make the front of the crowd a particularly tight crush), and there are no ‘adult’ acts, like classical or world music, which make up much of the free schedule for SummerStage and Celebrate Brooklyn!.  A welcome, if often overlooked, addition to New York’s great line-up of free, outdoor concerts.

Capacity: 5,000

all ages, free


Pier 54 at West & West 13th Street

By Subway:

A, C, E & L trains to 8th Ave. – walk 2 blocks west to the river, one block south on West Street
1, 2 & 3 trains to 14th St. – walk 3 blocks west to the river, one block south on West Street
F train to 6th Ave./14th St. – walk 4 blocks west to the river, one block south on West Street
4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R & M trains to Union Square – walk 6 blocks west to the river, one block south on West Street

QRO Coverage:

-Deer Tick, with DOM and Transitions, August 11th, 2011 – Deer Tick photos, DOM photos, Transitions photos

-Metronomy, with Class Actress and American Royalty, July 28th, 2011 – Metronomy live review, Metronomy photos, Class Actress photos, American Royalty photos

-tUnE-yArDs, with Austra, July 14th, 2011 – tUnE-yArDs photos, Austra photos

-Deerhunter, with Real Estate, August 12th, 2010 – Deerhunter photos, Real Estate photos

-The Antlers, with Dinosaur Feathers, July 22nd, 2010 – live review, The Antlers photos, Dinosaur Feathers photos

-Phosphorescent, with Dawes, July 8th, 2010 – Phosphorescent photos, Dawes photos

-Yeasayer, with Amazing Baby, August 13th, 2009 – Yeasayer live review, Yeasayer photos, Amazing Baby photos

-Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, July 23rd, 2009 – photos

-Matt & Kim, with Flosstradamus and Team Robespierre, July 11th, 2009 – Matt & Kim live review, Matt & Kim photos, Flosstradamus photos, Team Robespierre photos

-Flogging Molly, with O’Death, July 31st, 2008 – Flogging Molly photos, O’Death photos


Live Videos:

tUnE-yArDs, “You Yes You”, New York, NY, 7/14/11
Austra, “The Choke”, New York, NY, 7/14/11

Pier 54

Click here for the venue’s website


Click here for the festival’s website

Venue Reviews

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