ATLANTIC CITY — Revel’s designers looked to Las Vegas when planning performance venues for the new megaresort.
What they came up with were two spaces that could make Revel the hot place to see a show or catch a concert while in Atlantic City.
Ovation Hall, with its capacity for more than 5,000 people, is a multi-functional venue. Of all the venues of its size in the city, Ovation Hall looks the most like a traditional theater.
The Social, a 700-person capacity theater and lounge, will offer free concerts by nationally known music acts in an intimate venue. After midnight, DJs will take over and send the high-energy of their dance music onto the casino floor.
Seeking to capitalize on their top-tier venues, Revel executives plan to build the buzz around their casino by bringing in some of entertainment’s largest names to perform there.
The casino has already booked Beyonce for three shows in Ovation Hall during Memorial Day weekend. The pop-rock band Maroon 5 will play the venue’s inaugural concert May 18, while Grammy-winners The Black Keys entertain in Ovation Hall on May 19.
Revel will continue reaching out to most of the large tours traveling across the country in the coming months, said Normand-Pierre Bilodeau, director of technology and specialized equipment with Sceno Plus, who designed Ovation Hall and the casino.
“Our view is entertainment is going to be very important not only for us, but for Atlantic City. We have, what I think, is one of the nicest venues in the Northeast,” said Kevin DeSanctis, the casino’s chief executive officer during a conference call in February.
Ovation Hall resembles a majestic theater with permanent upper-level or balcony seating, high-quality vinyl seats and four VIP boxes that overhang the sides of the main floor. Every seat has an unobstructed view of the stage.
Sceno Plus’ design of the interior of Ovation Hall was inspired by its work on the 4,000-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Celine Dion used the venue for her return to the stage and residency there starting in 2003.
“Celine wanted to be as close as possible to her guests,” said Valerie Pageau, artistic director and interior design director for Sceno Plus. “The great experience is for the guest, but it’s also for the artist. If she is embraced with all of those people around her, then she receives all the energy from those guests, and then, she can give back so much more. The idea here was exactly the same.”
The acoustics and the sound inside the New Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas served as a template for Ovation Hall.
Ovation Hall was designed to be a transformable theater. It can be configured for a variety of seating options, including all-sitting, standing in the front and sitting in the back, banquet seating and seating in the round for UFC bouts. A UFC fight has been scheduled for June 22.
Multi-purpose arenas are not new in Atlantic City. The Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort’s Mark G. Etess Arena and the Event Center at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are also multi-purpose venues.
Ticketmaster is handling the sale of tickets for shows at Ovation Hall, but Revel offers a second smaller venue, the 700-person capacity, teal blue, circular room known as The Social, where a person doesn’t have to buy ticket to see a live act.
Live bands will perform free shows from 9 p.m. to midnight nightly in The Social. Hot new acts on the rise and veteran bands whose careers have cooled off will be booked to perform in the venue, said Revel spokeswoman Maureen Siman. The Danish indie-rock duo The Raveonettes will be the first headliner Monday evening. The group started in 2001 and is known for the albums “Chain Gang of Love” and “Lust Lust Lust.”
After midnight, Thursdays to Sundays, The Social, which has bars on its first and second floors, will morph into a high-energy nightlife destination, featuring a variety of DJs.
“On weekends when there are an awful lot of people in town, we want to create some surprises for people. I wouldn’t want to be confined to the B-level entertainer thought process,” DeSanctis said.
Similar to Ovation Hall, The Social can be transformed to accommodate sports events or comedy shows along with music acts. Besides more recognizable acts, there is a good chance existing artists in the area will be booked at The Social, said Neil Moffitt, CEO of Angel Management Group. Angel Management Group and Revel have joined together to operate The Social.
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