Agora Theatre Under New Management

(Source: Levdr1lp on Wikimedia)
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There’s a new concert promoter in town.

After a deal finalized Friday, LA-based AEG Presents will now run Cleveland’s Agora Theatre in the midtown neighborhood.

AEG is the second-largest concert promoter in the world, second only to Live Nation, which owns the House of Blues and books non-classical shows at Blossom Music Center.

AEG’s COO Shawn Trell downplayed the competition with Live Nation as a reason for entering the Cleveland market. Trell says his company likes “iconic venues,” and the Agora certainly qualifies.

"Being in a city like Cleveland, which has such a history in music, right at the core of that is this venue," Trell said. "It’s been here 50 years, and no other place in this town has had the kind of acts that are who they are now, legends, that have come up through here when they were just breaking."

Trell also said he expects concertgoers will find more variety at the Agora in the future.

"There’s not a genre our business doesn’t touch, so it’ll be a room like it was when it started out, available to a wide range of artists, and that’s what it deserves," Trell said. "That’s what this room should be, and that’s what it will be going forward."

The Agora was where many artists who became some of rock’s biggest legends played when they were just becoming popular. In the 70s and 80s, the venue -- then located on East 24th Street -- hosted Bruce Springsteen, The Police, The Clash, Fleetwood Mac, U2 and many more. The Euclid Avenue space originally opened in 1913 as the Metropolitan Theater and later became home to WHK radio before the Agora took over in the 1980’s.

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