Metropolitan Room

2.5 out of 5 stars
based on 3 Reviews
34 West 22nd Street
New York, NY


cabaret, jazz

Paid via…

  • Lump sum?: No (1 vote)  
  • Cover?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Donations?: No (1 vote)  
  • Minimum draw to get paid?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • No pay at all?: No (1 vote)  
  • Free food?: No (1 vote)  
  • Free drinks?: No (1 vote)  
  • Paid to play?: No (1 vote)  

Business practices

  • Non-profit?: No (1 vote)  
  • Musician-run?: No (1 vote)  
  • Rental fee?: No (1 vote)  
  • Books local acts?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Books out-of-town acts?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Promotes the acts it hires?: No (1 vote)  


  • Piano?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Piano in tune?: No (1 vote)  
  • Keyboard?: No (1 vote)  
  • Drumset?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Keyboard amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Guitar amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Bass amp?: No (1 vote)  
  • Direct box?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • PA system?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Sound person?: Yes (1 vote)  

The room

  • Stage?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Backstage/Green Room?: No (1 vote)  
  • Space for dancing?: No (1 vote)  
  • Primarily background music?: No (1 vote)  
  • Serves Food?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Liquor License?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Capacity: 50-300 (1 vote)  

Incorrect info? your correction!

Reviews from musicians



6 Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars   


My jazz sextet will definitely be performing here again! I appreciate that the staff cleared the house before our performance. We were given time to set up & sound check before our audience was seated. It definitely takes some of the pressure off to do that stuff in privacy!

Booker was very professional & fast at answering e-mails. I had some last minute questions before the gig & heard back right away.



1 Review
2.0 out of 5 stars   


**Caveat: I have not played at the Metropolitan Room. However, I spoke at length with a representative from the venue about booking my own group, and I am a member of an NYC big band that cancelled its engagement there.**

The big band was scheduled to perform at the standard 11:30pm Thursday time slot. The club expected a *50* person draw for our first time out at $20/ticket, and they were going to charge the leader a $150 "tech rehearsal" fee for their sound engineers. Their justification? "Don't worry, you'll make it back if you sell tickets". Total exploitative bullshit. The general reaction from most members of the band: "I will not play there".

Fast forward to my own booking:

I was contacted by the Metropolitan Room via Facebook to perform at the venue. I responded over e-mail and started a conversation with the booking agent.

I was given a somewhat similar deal; 11:30pm on a Thursday at $20 a ticket (although I lowered it to $15), but with an *expectation* of 20 people (this word was emphasized in two different e-mails). Although they did not assess a tech fee, I was asked to sign a 17-item contract. The club's policy is that they expect to fill the room (because "the wait staff doesn't like to work in an empty room and it feels better to patrons"), and in the event of underselling, they "paper" the room, which means they discount (give away?) tickets for the show, for which you don't receive any money.

The contract also suggested I spend $100-150 on notecards to promote the show, and there was a list of eight different e-mail addresses of people involved at the club and suggestions on how to promote.

I pulled out of the booking because as an entry level artist, even in a best case scenario, I did not think it possible to meet those criteria, nor do I think it is realistic for someone in my position to expect to draw those numbers at 11:30pm on a Thursday, at that price.

The booking agent was very friendly and easy to work with, so props for that, but in every other detail, the Metropolitan Room seems like an elaborate pay to play scheme designed to exploit musicians desperate to play. One of the musicians in one of my ensembles remarked when I asked them about playing there, "Are you sure? That club's policies are very hard on musicians."

I later received an e-mail about jam sessions they started on Mondays. Normally the cover is $5 for a musician, but if you bring *five* of your friends, you get free drinks and free cover.

Wow, you mean you're dangling the carrot of a very unlikely scenario in front of me for a situation that almost certainly benefits only the club? And I can do it every week? What an amazing bargain!



2 Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars   


From the first email I received asking me to play there, I got a very weird vibe.
There are a couple of great things about the space. The sound man is great, and it's a really nice room acoustics-wise. That's where the good things end, really. The stage is miniscule. They expected me to be able to fit my 18 piece big band on a stage that ordinarily would barely fit a quintet. They do very little promotion for their new "11:30 jazz slot" and will not give jazz artists good time slots. They expect the artists to pay the soundman $100 upon arrival for soundcheck, then keep the artists waiting way past the specified time on their own contract to do soundcheck. They expect the artists to do almost all promotion, and they have little to no walk in traffic. Really not a great place to play at all.