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Nation's top concert promoter to book new Allentown music hall, sources say

Jason Addy
Construction crews are making steady progress on The Archer Music Hall, which is set to open this fall in the 900 block of West Hamilton Street.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Crews are making steady progress on what soon will be Allentown’s newest concert venue and a new boutique hotel on the same block.

The Archer, a state-of-the-art entertainment venue at 935-939 Hamilton St., and The Moxy hotel a few doors west will have that area of downtown regularly buzzing with hundreds of visitors, developer City Center said.

A fall opening is planned.

And sources say the country’s top concert promoter is set to run the show.

Live Nation signed a long-term contract to bring acts to The Archer Music Hall, one of City Center’s latest projects in downtown Allentown, according to sources. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly of the deal.

City Center said last year it was speaking with four leading national concert promoters.

City Center spokesman Jeff Vaughan would not confirm the choice of Live Nation, telling LehighValleyNews.com it “is not ready to announce the operator of the music hall," but did not deny that an operator has been chosen.

Signing an operator/promoter is a major step for the developer as it aims to open the new hall.

City Center has said it plans to present three or four shows by national touring acts each week at The Archer.

Bringing in the acts

Promoters are responsible for booking acts, presenting live entertainment, including concerts and comedy shows, and marketing those events.

Live Nation has some of the world’s top-earning performers under contract, including Billy Joel — whose song “Allentown” still evokes rancor in Mayor Matt Tuerk — Madonna, Bad Bunny, Drake and Stevie Nicks.

A slew of older bands also are among Live Nation’s roster, including ZZ Top, The Doobie Brothers, Chicago and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Those acts are likely too big to play The Archer, but Live Nation also occasionally presents shows at PPL Center, and also is the promoter for Wind Creek Event Center in Bethlehem.

The Archer could be a home for acts that wouldn't draw audiences large enough for those venues.

The Archer is about half the size of Wind Creek Event Center and less than 10 miles away.

New hub of activity?

The Archer is set to cover 31,000 square feet across two floors and accommodate up to 1,800 people.

Officials have said it’s designed to attract events too small for the nearby PPL Center, which can hold about 10,000 people.

Robert DiLorenzo, director of planning and construction at City Center, has said he expects the new venue “is going to draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually through the front doors.”

Jerry Deifer, a founding partner in the Sands Bethlehem Event Center — now known as the Wind Creek Event Center — looked to open a similar entertainment venue seven years ago.

"With all the new apartments and the activation that goes along with all those new residents, we thought the synergy between a music hall and cool boutique hotel was really strong."
J.B. Reilly, City Center president

He told LehighValleyNews.com in 2023 that The Archer could sell more than 240,000 tickets a year. That would make it one of the busiest clubs of its size in the United States.

But any success likely relies on who City Center chooses to serve as its promoter, Deifer has said.

'Synergy' in Downtown West

Construction crews appear farther along on The Moxy than The Archer. The Moxy is a boutique hotel at 10th and Hamilton streets that will have 140 rooms across five floors.

The 55,000-square-foot facility — set to cost about $27 million — will feature a ground-floor bar and restaurant with guest rooms on the upper four floors.

Global hotel chain Marriott will operate the new boutique hotel under its Moxy brand when it opens this fall, City Center announced last year.

Jason Addy
Marriott will operate City Center's new boutique hotel under its Moxy brand. The five-story hotel is set to feature 140 rooms.

J.B. Reilly, president of City Center, has told LehighValleyNews.com he believes the venue and hotel will help extend the "success of revitalization" in Center City into the "Downtown West" sector.

"We think the hotel and The Archer will be core to creating that kind of entertainment-based vibrancy," Reilly said.

"They're both designed to support this vibrant environment that's emerging in Downtown West," Reilly said.

"With all the new apartments and the activation that goes along with all those new residents, we thought the synergy between a music hall and cool boutique hotel was really strong."