R5 Productions, an independent production company in Philadelphia started by Sean Agnew, has finally opened the doors to its newest and nicest venue yet, The Union Transfer. For the last decade, r5’s main location has been the basement of the First Unitarian Church, which made for an incredibly intimate experience between bands and concert-goers, but lacked air-conditioning and a decent sound system. Located at 10th and Spring Garden, the Union Transfer was originally the home of a train depot station that is its namesake. More recently the space was occupied by the now defunct Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant. The new venue features multiple levels, including a balcony with multiple bars and a maximum capacity of 1,000 people, although the stage can be moved forward to provide a smaller atmosphere that will hold 600 people. Since I’ve been attending concerts in Philly there has been a need for a venue like the Union Transfer, a place that falls between the large capacity of the Electric Factory and Theater of the Living Arts and the tiny capacity of bars such as Johnny Brenda’s. The venue opened on Wednesday, September 21, with a sold-out headlining performance by the band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Attendees say that the venue is beautiful and has a stellar sound system. So far, the Union Transfer has quite a few shows booked for the rest of 2011, and tickets can be bought at the venue’s box office with no additional service charges or online. Personally, I cannot wait to attend a concert at the Union Transfer, and I think it will do wonders for Philly’s music scene.
In other Philly music news, The Trocadero has cut ties with Ticketmaster for good and will now sell tickets through TicketFly, the agency that r5 uses. This is great news for concert-goers on a budget, like myself. I’ve often been unable to afford tickets because of Ticketmaster’s high service charges, and I generally avoid using Ticketmaster for this reason. TicketFly features much lower service charges, and the partnership will evidently benefit the Trocadero greatly.