The New Orleans music scene just got a little bit bigger with the announcement of the opening of The Fillmore, which will be housed within Harrah’s Casino. The Fillmore brand began in 1912 in San Francisco, and that concert hall gave birth to several venues spread throughout the U.S. The Fillmore New Orleans show marketer Alex Rosen explained, “We’ve always viewed New Orleans as one of America’s truly great music cities. Our House of Blues venue here continues to showcase amazing live music at The Parish and in the main music hall, and we saw an opportunity to continue supporting artists at a larger venue in the 2,000-capacity range. This gives us the opportunity to work with musicians as they progress in their careers, where one day someone could be playing solo in the House of Blues restaurant or Foundation Room, and a few years later, have grown into a successful band that can fill a space like The Fillmore. It’s really exciting and rewarding to work with and support an artist that long, especially in a city filled with so many amazing artists.”
Opening on February 15 with a special two-night performance by the Foo Fighters, The Fillmore will be a mid-sized venue that is perfect for artists who have larger audiences than a small bar can hold, but want more intimate shows than arenas can offer. “We’ve also seen that certain acts might not have New Orleans on their routing schedule because the right room didn’t exist or wasn’t available, and we’re confident with the opening of The Fillmore, many of those acts will be performing here in the future,” Rosen added. Some of the first acts to have shows at The Fillmore include Duran Duran (February 19), Gucci Mane (February 22), Willie Nelson (February 27), and STS9 (April 5-6).
The Fillmore West and Fillmore East in California and New York, respectively, hosted the biggest names in rock music in the late 1960s, until they shuttered in 1971. The brand was revamped several times over the years, and there are currently seven Fillmore venues in operation throughout the country. Each venue is unique and celebrates the region in which it is located.
Rosen continued, “All of our Fillmore venues are unique and also pay homage to the original spirit of the legendary San Francisco Fillmore that started it all in the 60s and 70s. This newest Fillmore is no different and reflects the unique qualities of local architecture and materials, such as wrought-iron gates and clapboard sidings used throughout the venue, alongside gas street lanterns, brass instruments, and hints of Mardi Gras and masquerade balls. At all Fillmore venues, you’ll find vintage Fillmore posters, ornate crystal chandeliers hanging from the ballroom ceiling, and plush velvet curtains lining the walls. Legendary promoter Bill Graham founded The Fillmore, and one of the most important things for him was to create an atmosphere where creativity was encouraged and where fans and artists felt comfortable to explore that creativity. All of our team members embrace this sense of hospitality, and combined with all the offerings available within the venue, we feel we give artists and fans an authentic opportunity to recreate the magic that the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin, and The Allman Brothers created for their fans back in San Francisco.”
When you buy a ticket to a show at The Fillmore, you don’t have to go elsewhere to have dinner and drinks beforehand. The Fillmore will offer a full menu of fantastic fare and creative cocktails. “Fans can enjoy a pre-show cocktail and some food in our lively lobby bar, then take in the show with their favorite artist before heading over to BG’s Lounge for a late-night snack or cocktail while listening to the area’s best DJs,” Rosen said. “New Orleans has one of the best culinary scenes in the world, and live music fans are in for a surprise when they discover some of the great food that we plan to offer. From our take on popcorn shrimp, hot chicken, pulled pork, and deep-fried pickles, to more upscale choices like inventive salads with jumbo lump crab meat, Caribbean marinated grilled chicken wraps and charcuterie, and fruit and cheese bento boxes, there truly is a little something for everyone to enjoy. For our vegan friends, we’ve even brought in the delectable Impossible Burger to go alongside traditional choices like Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs, Smoked Gouda Turkey Sliders, and Parmesan-Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.”
The Fillmore will host a wide variety of shows, gatherings, and activities, though live music is their foundation. You can even book a special event of your own there. Serious music-lovers may want to check out the specialty ticketing options. “Our Premium Seating program gives members access to presale tickets and the best seats in the house—allowing them to experience our venue from elevated viewing areas and private VIP boxes while enjoying an enhanced level of hospitality the entire night,” Rosen said. “Live music is the ultimate connector and crosses all boundaries. We’re confident that the local community will be continually excited about all the great acts that get announced, and whether someone is visiting the area from Houston or Paris, they are always welcome and invited to come to The Fillmore to see some incredible live music.”
The Fillmore will open with a bang right in the middle of the carnival season, with acts like Blackberry Smoke (February 21), The Dropkick Murphys (March 1), and The Avett Brothers (March 15-16). You can see the entire event calendar at FillmoreNOLA.com. Keep your schedule open, because there will be something that you’ll want to see.