169 Bar

1.0 out of 5 stars
based on 2 Reviews
169 E. Broadway
New York, NY


rock, pop, jazz, avant-garde, swing, indie rock, indie

Typical earnings for each musician

based on input from 1 review

Paid via…

  • Lump sum?: No (1 vote)  
  • Cover?: Yes (2 votes)  
  • Donations?: No (1 vote)  
  • Minimum draw to get paid?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • No pay at all?: Yes (1 vote)  No (1 vote)  
  • Free food?: No (2 votes)  
  • Free drinks?: No (1 vote)  
  • Paid to play?: No (2 votes)  

Business practices

  • Non-profit?: No (2 votes)  
  • Musician-run?: No (2 votes)  
  • Rental fee?: No (2 votes)  
  • Books local acts?: Yes (2 votes)  
  • Promotes the acts it hires?: No (2 votes)  


  • Piano?: Yes (1 vote)  No (1 vote)  
  • Piano in tune?: No (1 vote)  
  • Keyboard?: No (1 vote)  
  • Drumset?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Bass amp?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • PA system?: Yes (2 votes)  
  • Sound person?: Yes (2 votes)  

The room

  • Backstage/Green Room?: No (1 vote)  
  • Liquor License?: Yes (1 vote)  
  • Capacity: 50-300 (1 vote)  

Incorrect info? your correction!

Reviews from musicians



21 Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars   


Not sure if it is still like this, but my experience with Bar 169 was identical to places like Bar East, National Underground, etc.

This venue hires a new booking person every couple of months. With each turnover, a new round of blanket emails go out, inviting submissions from anyone. ANYONE can get a booking. They don't check your music out, they don't care what style of music you play or how good you are, and they don't make any effort to have any type of cohesiveness to an evening's worth of bookings. My modern group was sandwiched in between an acoustic folk duo and a thrash metal band. In addition to this, as we were setting up, the booking person asked us what kind of jazz we played ("traditional" or "modern"). I could tell she wanted me to say traditional, so I did. If I had said modern, she was going to cancel our gig right then and there, based upon a bad experience the venue had with another modern jazz group. No advance notice. Just right there, as we were setting up.

The PA is managed from behind the bar, by the bartender. He was very rude. We didn't know that he was running things, and we didn't see anyone else setting up mics. We thought it was a DIY situation, and there was some sort of board near the stage area, so we began to tweak knobs on our own. He completely lost his shit.

My philosophy for venues like this is: if you don't have a lot of bookings elsewhere, and if you just want to get some experience under your belt, then go ahead and book a gig. But don't invest any money or feverish efforts in publicizing the gig. And don't expect to get paid.



2 Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars   


Playing at 169 Bar is an annoying-to-insulting experience. First of all, they book several bands at night, each for a 30 minute set. Since when is that OK? Bands should play for at least a full set, especially if you're barely even getting paid. Furthermore, the performance schedule is usually WAY off.

Also, if you don't get a minimum number of people that arrive specifically saying that "I'm here for XYZ band", they actually cut you off in the middle of your "set". Ridiculous. How often are you going to get 20 people explicitly say that they're there for your band, much less pay a cover, for a single 30 minute set? And when I've played here, their minimum requirement also applied to the cover... you need the minimum number of people (10-20 people who say they're there for you) before you start even getting the cover fee. Of course, they don't charge for "walk-ins or neighborhood regulars".

See this article by Local 802 for more info... http://www.local802afm.org/publication_entry.cfm?xEntry=81772671