Elsewhere launches tiered membership program for repeat visitors

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Bushwick’s multi-stage music venue and Gen Z hotspot Elsewhere has dropped a three-tiered membership program with a simple goal: allowing more people to enjoy more shows more affordably.

Designed for both live-music obsessives as well as those who dig a casual show here and there, the venue hopes skipped lines and free tickets will be worth people’s while and save Brooklynites a buck.

“You’ll notice there’s no crazy expensive tier,” says Jake Rosenthal, co-founder of Elsewhere. “We wanted to make sure there were different offerings for different types of people.”

To that point: those interested can become a “Freak with Benefits” for $2 a month, a “Sonic Explorer” for $6, or an almighty “Patron Saint” who gains unlimited free entry for $360 a year.

Rosenthal says the first two tiers, which include perks ranging from free coat-check to unlimited half-off tickets, are built for people who simply want a more seamless experience at the club.

“It’s in the details,” says Nathan Grimm, a beta-tester for the program. “The smaller perks definitely make a difference when inviting friends out to a show.”

Meanwhile, the Patron Saint tier is designed for Elsewhere fanatics who “have a pulse on the must-sees and want cheap access to the most high-demand events.”

Rosenthal is no stranger to Brooklyn’s music scene. With Dhruv Chopra and Rami Haykal-Manning, he ran a D.I.Y. dance club and art space in Williamsburg called Glasslands Gallery. After it closed in 2015, the three men co-founded Elsewhere, which hosts almost 600 shows per year and is dedicated to cutting-edge music and culture. Elsewhere made headlines at the start of the pandemic after recreating itself in the popular sandbox video game Minecraft, where it hosted a virtual party for thousands of home-bound fans. They also hosted interactive virtual events during the pandemic on Twitch.

Elsewhere isn’t exactly breaking new ground by offering boundless discounts to New York’s eager music fans. At Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, members pay $199 a year for unlimited shows and receive an I.D. in the form of a sterling silver Magic 8-Ball pendant. And once upon a time, legendary Greenwich Village indie-venue Le Poisson Rouge (LPR) gave members free access to 100-plus shows for $300 a year (plus a free birthday beer bucket).

It’s no secret that New York isn’t cheap, nor is having fun in New York. Especially now, with inflation too damn high. However, Rosenthal says he and the Elsewhere team won’t let rising prices build a wall too tall for people to gain access to the club.

“Spending 30 or 20 dollars to get into Elsewhere four, five, six times a month becomes really expensive really quickly,” Rosenthal says. “If you’re that invested in the culture, you shouldn’t have to spend that much money.”

Rosenthal — a born and bred New Yorker — can’t imagine a healthy ecosystem of music and art without a diverse array of perspectives mixing together.

“You want to leave your community open to permeability,” he says.

Elsewhere’s membership is also founded around “a two-way dialogue” — something the club is honing through the use of Discord, a messaging app that looks like the lovechild of Slack and Reddit. The club began using Discord to engage and rebuild its community after the pandemic lockdowns.

When someone becomes an Elsewhere member — at any tier — they are automatically invited into the venue’s members-only Discord channels, which have over 2,500 users. There, they’ll find like-minded fans to chat with, meet-up groups, weekly special contests, promotions, and giveaways.

Even though members can reserve up to eight events at once via Elsewhere’s website, the venue only saves them a small percentage of the room. “We aren’t ever able to make the claim that everyone who wants to get into a high demand event that’s sold out will get in,” says Rosenthal. “There are limits to what we can do.”

With people spending less money on tickets, there’s a chance artists performing at Elsewhere may lose out on profit during sold-out events (which comprise around 15 percent of Elsewhere shows, per the owners).

“It’s a little more art than science,” Rosenthal says, adding that the Elsewhere team just wants people to feel like they’re getting good value.

As the membership program evolves, Rosenthal says Freaks, Explorers and Saints will also have access to member-run creative workshops and future editorial materials that highlight emerging music and culture. Rosenthal hopes these offerings will provide something extra not just to the music scene in Brooklyn and New York, but internationally as well.

Papi Ride by Luis Nieto Dickens @nietodickens

Papi Ride by Luis Nieto Dickens

The post Elsewhere launches tiered membership program for repeat visitors appeared first on Brooklyn Magazine.

By: Colin Kirkland
Title: Elsewhere launches tiered membership program for repeat visitors
Sourced From: www.bkmag.com/2023/03/01/elsewhere-membership-program/
Published Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2023 22:34:59 +0000

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