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Downtown Phoenix to open promising new music venue

A new music venue will open this October in downtown Phoenix with a schedule of bands that is certain to put hearts in the eyes of any college radio fan.

Indie favorites such as The Album Leaf, Blitzen Trapper, Friendly Fires, Mason Jennings and Washed Out are just a handful of acts that will grace the stage of Crescent Ballroom following its debut this fall.

The midsize venue stands at Van Buren Street and Second Avenue, just a quick stroll west of ASU's downtown campus and METRO Light Rail's Central Station.

The Ballroom's owner, Charlie Levy, searched Phoenix extensively for the perfect building to house his first venue. Levy, who started the local music promotion company Stateside Presents a decade ago, was looking for a place to hold the majority of their shows. "Stateside promotes over 300 shows a year, and it just felt like we really wanted a home," he said.

Apart from its main stage, Crescent Ballroom offers a lounge at the entrance that will open every day at 4 p.m. and serve food and drinks. There, a smaller stage will host acoustic performers and DJs, Levy said.

The Ballroom was originally home to a 1917 warehouse, and is complete with exposed brick and vaulted ceilings. Levy and his team are hard at work renovating to make the building appear as it did in the 1920s.

"We want to bring its history back," he said. "It was important for me to find a building with history and character, because I always find that's the kind of building that creates the best live music venue."

Crescent Ballroom is currently booking touring and local bands of all genres. Although music will be its main focus, Levy said he has talked to people about comedy shows, poetry readings, and lectures.

With its prime location, old-fashioned atmosphere, and impressive lineup of shows, Crescent Ballroom is likely to become an excellent spot for ASU students to gather. Though if all goes according to Levy's plan, the venue will draw a variety of music lovers from around the Valley. "I really want this to be a melting pot for everyone … That's the beauty of music, it brings people of all ages, all types, all scenes together."

Crescent Ballroom is set to open its doors October 3 with Blind Pilot, though bookings are subject to change. The venue's full schedule can be found at

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