AEG Presents, LLC, a global leader in concert promotion and venue management, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Chris Zitterbart to acquire the operating rights to the historic Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. The acquisition adds the Agora to its portfolio of over 60 theaters and clubs and underscores AEG Presents’ strategy to expand its portfolio of iconic venues and footprint in key music markets across the country.
AEG, who produces, promotes or books nearly 10,000 events worldwide, plans to invest capital in the historic theatre which first opened in 1966. In addition to restoring some of the most iconic and identifiable features of the Agora, AEG Presents will also oversee upgrades to the theatre’s acoustical design, lighting and sound systems, hospitality spaces, dressing rooms and guest amenities.
“Given its history and the litany of legendary acts that have played the room, the Agora has been the heart and soul of Cleveland’s live music scene for the past 50 years. It’s a truly unique concert venue and we look forward to bringing a wide array of artists to the live music loving city of Cleveland,” said Shawn Trell, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Presents.
Located in downtown Cleveland and with a capacity of 2,000 (theatre) and 600 (ballroom), the Agora Theatre was founded by legendary club operator Henry “Hank” LoConti Sr., who was a driving force in the early rise of rock ‘n’ roll. In the 1970s and 1980s, LoConti gave exposure to hundreds of artists including such icons as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Clash, Duran Duran and ZZ Top among other, and established the Agora’s global reputation as one of the premier music venues in the world.
“The opportunity to work with AEG Presents and to have them enter the Cleveland music scene is significant. They represent the best of having not only the resources necessary to grow the business, but because they also remain independently and privately owned they can afford to be patient and do things the right way. That combination bodes well for the future of the Agora Theatre and the types of shows they will bring to this market,” said Zitterbart, operator of the Agora Theatre for the past four years.