JBL Live at Pier 97 is located on Pier 97 on the west side of Manhattan, poking out into the Hudson River, directly west of West 57th Street (but one must cross West Side Highway a block north at 58th). It lies a block northwest of Terminal 5 off of Midtown, and is part of Hudson River Park along with Pier 84 and Pier 54. It opened in the summer of 2014.
Pier 97 is actually different than Piers 84 or 54, in that it is a ticketed venue, not free, and the stage actually faces out to the river, with the skyscrapers of Midtown behind it. The box office lies to the side of the entryway, which goes up along the house-right side of the stage, from back to front, before opening into the crowd area farther along. Just past that are the drinks and food stalls to the house-right side of the pier, with port-a-potties and VIP area on the house-left.
Like other piers venues, Pier 97 does suffer from having the crowd squeezed into a long and thin space, while the strong sound and lighting dissipates over the water. Also not helping is the larger soundboard tent right in the middle, which blocks ones view from the back half of the crowd floor. However, the setting is still quite beautiful, and the space works well for more laidback acts (and outlasted 2014’s Pier 26, which only lasted a year). And operators Live Nation certainly know how to operate a large space.
Pier 97 at West 57th Street
A, B, C or D trains to 59th Street/Columbus Circle – walk 1 block south to West 58th Street, 4 blocks west on West 58th Street, cross West Side Highway, 1 block south on west side of West Side Highway
N, Q or R trains to 57th Street/7th Avenue – walk 2 blocks north to West 58th Street, 4 blocks west on West 58th Street, cross West Side Highway, 1 block south on west side of West Side Highway