Home » Andrew Bilach, New York City, Wondering Crazy

Terminal 5 – The Worst Venue in New York City

16 May 2011 22 Comments

By: Andrew

It’s Monday morning, the birds are chirping, and we’re preparing for our third straight day of rain. Although I’m one of the few who gets excited when he wakes up to rain, I’m one of the many that cringe at the prospect of attending a show at New York City’s Terminal 5.

A Stop Whining Sign

Please! Please Please! Stop Whining!

A lot of whiners will complain that it’s in the middle of nowhere and that there’s no food in walking distance. If you fall into this category, stop being a diva, walk, take a cab, or walk one block west and drown yourself. Whiners also complain about the lack of parking. It’s New York City. There’s a lack of parking everywhere. However, each time I’ve had to unfortunately attend a show at Terminal 5, there was parking readily available on the street.

Terminal 5 Music Venue in NYC at Capacity

None of these people can see.

I’m a tall guy, so when on the floor, I can see from anywhere and see from over anyone. This isn’t the case for most people. If you’re under 6 feet tall you’re going to be underwhelmed with your view of the stage. There isn’t any way to get crafty in Terminal 5 either. If the tall people in front of you don’t get in the way, you can enjoy one of the many pillars. Maybe you can go to one of the other levels, possibly to get a better view? Not a chance. With the railing, more pillars, and awkward setup on the second and third levels, you’re not seeing anything either.

But wait! There are monitors for you to watch on those levels! If you have binoculars, that is. One perk to marching upstairs, though, is that it’s less crowded and easier to get a drink, if your fancy is wasting $10 on a tiny bit of alcohol. Sightlines for shorter people are always a problem at club shows, but I’ve attended countless shows at other New York City venues with vertically challenged people and they’ve all been able to find a spot and see fine.

The sound is always terrible too.

An empty Terminal 5 concert in NYC

Now you can enjoy the show!

This building was a factory that was converted to a nightclub called Exit. Exit was converted into a concert hall named Terminal 5. That concert hall will never convert me into being an attendee at one of its shows ever again. Exit? Don’t enter. Trust me.

I hope you enjoyed the article. Please leave your comments below (I read them all) or contact us directly. We read and respond to everything. Thank you for your time.

22 Comments »

  • Carla said:

    One of the main reasons bands play this and BP venues is because they’re paid more.

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  • 1942 said:

    WORST VENUE IN THE WORLD

    Those that are deaf can rejoice.

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  • LOCH NESS said:

    This is THE WORST large club in the world. PERIOD.

    NOT EVEN OPEN TO DISCUSSION

    CHEERS FOR WRITING THIS.

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  • Celeste said:

    i fucking love this place actually. i have seen my best concerts here. the crowd is amazing, and it’s kind of fun feeling sort of out of touch with the rest of NYC to watch a concert. haters- go home.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Celeste,

    Thank you for taking the time to write.

    I’m glad to hear you love the venue. You’re one of the few. I love the location. I like the way it looks. It just reeks of coolness. The sound always leaves something to be desired. It’s a nightmare getting to the bar. The overall layout is not meant for a rock club. It has the look and feel, but outside of that – acoustics, sightlines, etc – it’s terrible.

    Keep in mind, this is subjective and not meant as an attack.

    Who have you seen there?

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  • CT Girl said:

    Thank you for this informative site! We were considering a concert at this venue but have been convinced to find the show elsewhere. I’m sure you’ve saved us from a frustrating and disappointing evening. Both my friend and I are vertically challenged, and would have been miserable in this situation!

    Cheers from CT!

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    You’re very welcome.

    If you’re not directly in the front and if you’re not 6’10″, please find it at another venue. Judging by your name, you’re in CT, so hopefully they’ll have it somewhere in Hartford, Albany or Boston.

    Or, you can go to Terminal 5 and tell me I was right later. :)

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  • Kerri said:

    Hi, just wondering…Im going to see Luke Bryan tomorrow night, Fri September 16th. I am 5’2…he is a counrtry singer and the website at ticketmaster is saying it is not a sold out show, that there are still 24 tickets left and there are still a few available on ebay.
    Do you think this might be a crowded venue as you stated above? How many people does Terminal 5 hold? Was it the old Emerald City from the early 90′s??
    Thank you for your site…now im nervous and wondering if I should waste my time standing on line for 5 hours prior to the show???

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Kerri:
    Hi, just wondering…Im going to see Luke Bryan tomorrow night, Fri September 16th.I am 5’2…he is a counrtry singer and the website at ticketmaster is saying it is not a sold out show, that there are still 24 tickets left and there are still a few available on ebay.
    Do you think this might be a crowded venue as you stated above? How many people does Terminal 5 hold?Was it the old Emerald City from the early 90′s??
    Thank you for your site…now im nervous and wondering if I should waste my time standing on line for 5 hours prior to the show???

    Unless you’re near the stage, the site lines are terrible. If it’s as well sold as you mention, you’re going to have a hard time. You absolutely must be in the first few rows of people. You might be able to get away with being up to ten rows back, but that’s only if there are short people in front of you. The stage at Terminal 5 is incredibly low, which only adds to the problem.

    My advice would be to wait until his direct support leaves the stage. People will mildly clear out for air, drinks, the bathroom, etc. At this point, move in, push and you might get lucky. But if you want to be sure, get there early.

    The venue holds 3000 people. In the past, I believe it was Carbon, Exit and maybe 10 other things.

    I hope you feel this information is helpful. Let me know what you think of Terminal 5 after you attend the show.

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  • Shiv said:

    Going to see Mastodon in a few days at Terminal 5. I’m also 5’4, generally the first to give way for others to pass when moving through a crowd (its the grammar school discipline ingrained in me, cant help it). Does this mean I’ll have a rough time at Terminal? This could be trouble.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Shiv,

    Terminal 5 doesn’t book many heavy metal shows, so it’s just about the same as any other venue as it pertains to floor access. The only difference is the stage is a bit lower. If you’re the type of guy that likes to stand at a comfortable distance and enjoy the show, you’re in trouble. You won’t see a thing. However, since it’s a heavy metal show (and Mastodon are awesome!), you should be able to sneak to a decent spot, or rotate between several decent spots, due to moshing and/or general heavy metal audience unruly behavior. The sole reason I’m not attending the show is because of Terminal 5.

    I hope this information helps.

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  • David said:

    Celeste,

    For many years, I have been an “everynighter” – I go to a lot of shows, T-5 is one of my favorite places, not just NOW, but EVER. They get terrific acts, and the raw SPACE is tres rock’n’roll. The staff are nice, and I always have a good time. I agree with you, Celeste. What are those people whining about? More venues make the City a better place to live. If they don’t like THAT, they can move to Wyoming for very little money [No offense to Wyoming: I have some wonderful friends there.] I hope to be there (Terminal, not Wyoming) tomorrow…
    Hippie in a suit

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    David:
    Celeste,

    For many years, I have been an “everynighter” –I go to a lot of shows,T-5 is one of my favorite places, not just NOW, but EVER.They get terrific acts, and the raw SPACE is tres rock’n’roll.The staff are nice, and I always have a good time.I agree with you, Celeste.What are those people whining about?More venues make the City a better place to live.If they don’t like THAT, they can move to Wyoming for very little money [No offense to Wyoming:I have some wonderful friends there.]I hope to be there (Terminal, not Wyoming) tomorrow… Hippie in a suit

    Hey David.

    The space itself is very rock n’ roll. As far as rock n’ roll vibe, it’s as close to a 10 as you’ll find for a larger club.

    The Bowery Presents does a wonderful job in nurturing artists up through their venues, and Terminal 5 is the last logical place on the ladder. I’m all for as many venues and shows as possible. Terminal 5, to most, including me, is disappointing.

    I’m glad you enjoy it, though. But, I will say, if you’ve visited a lot of venues and T-5 is your favorite…that, I don’t understand.

    Happy New Year, man.

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  • Jeff said:

    Celeste,

    this place looks unreal. next chance i get i will 100% be going to a show here. Andrew sounds like a little wiener kid who went out on his 21st to celebrate and didnt know what to expect and thought he had such an important opinion to write a brutally poor and biased article about it.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    Jeff:
    Celeste,

    this place looks unreal. next chance i get i will 100% be going to a show here. Andrew sounds like a little wiener kid who went out on his 21st to celebrate and didnt know what to expect and thought he had such an important opinion to write a brutally poor and biased article about it.

    I agree. The place *looks* unreal.

    My article reflects my opinion which is based on fact. Please keep in mind that the main point – the view of the stage – is something irrelevant to my experience, as I’m a taller person.

    You’re commenting on a site that *I* run. Your assessment of me based on an article is “brutally poor” and “biased” and truthfully, I’m unsure why YOU think YOU have such an important opinion that you’d have to leave a public remark.

    I’ve been in nearly every venue in this country over the last decade. I’m more than qualified to speak on the issue. This review was prompted by many, many emails received from listeners of our show that had poor experiences at Terminal 5.

    And, if you think for one second that I overstepped my bounds, let’s look at some of the customer reviews from one of the biggest sites in this country.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/terminal-5-new-york

    Please note I’m merely defending myself, not looking to argue.

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  • Jenine said:

    Hi, I am going to this venue to see the weeknd on friday October 26th.. i took the day off and i am 5’3 so i know i need to be there early for a good view. How early would you suggest i go in order to be at least somewhat close to the stage? he starts performing at 8pm or the doors open at 8pm.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    I responded to this directly as well (check your email).

    Still to this day I cringe when an artist I’d like to see live is booked at this venue.

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  • nerms said:

    Hi, I am going to this venue to see the weeknd on friday October 26th.. i took the day off and i am 5’3 so i know i need to be there early for a good view. How early would you suggest i go in order to be at least somewhat close to the stage? he starts performing at 8pm or the doors open at 8pm.

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  • AS said:

    Hi, I’m going to see Foals next month and I was wondering at
    What time you recommend me to be there so I can get somewhere
    Close to the stage? And also if the performing starts at 7pm or the doors are open at that time.
    And how is the ambient ,is it hot? Because the weather might be cold outside ,I probably take a
    Sweater with me and I don’t wanna get burn inside . I hope you can help me

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    AS,

    The time on the ticket is usually the time doors are opened to the public.

    If you’re looking to get close to the stage, you can usually do so between bands. As an artist leaves the stage, people step outside to smoke, get a drink, go to the bathroom, etc. You’ll always be able to get decently close, or within a few people of the stage. As long as you’re there when the direct support to Foals leaves the stage, you should be alright.

    If you want to get there super early, and you’re willing to wait a long time for just the right spot, see if you can get up against the stage. If not, venture one floor up and see if you can get a spot along the railing. This way, no one is in front of you, you have something to lean on and you won’t sweat.

    Like any other concert venue, it’s always a little hot inside. That’s par for the course anywhere.

    Good luck and enjoy the show.

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  • EDMReef31 said:

    Im attending the Dj Carnage show on March.15.2014 and Im rolling with a short crew 5’6 and below. Will it be a better idea to get the show earlier so we can get up front or it should be a problem. Just wondering

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    EDMReef31,

    Uh oh! You’re rolling with the dreaded short crew and stilts are likely not an option. I’m not sure if there are other acts on the bill, but your best bet is to immediately go closer to the stage once the prior act ends. After the prior act, people will disperse to use the restroom, smoke, get air and all that good stuff…while you make a beeline to the stage. I’d approach it like so.

    Let us know how it goes for you.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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