The next step in the corporate arms race over the live music business in New York came Monday when the Bowery Ballroom and the Mercury Lounge, two mainstays of the indie club scene, joined forces with the concert giant Live Nation.
In a joint announcement, Live Nation and Michael Swier, the founder of those clubs, said they were creating a new promotion and booking company called Mercury East Presents. It will align the Bowery and the Mercury with Live Nation’s Irving Plaza, Gramercy Theater and Warsaw clubs, as well as its Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk, to share expertise and marketing.
The deal reflects the rapid consolidation of a local market that until recently had been dominated by scrappy independents. In 2016, Live Nation acquired the Governors Ball festival, and early this year AEG, Live Nation’s rival, bought the Bowery Presents — a partnership that once included Mr. Swier and controls Terminal 5, the Music Hall of Williamsburg and a network of clubs along the East Coast. This year AEG also teamed with the owners of Barclays Center to purchase and renovate Webster Hall.
Mr. Swier, who started his New York night-life career as a bartender in 1979 and has lately branched out to Los Angeles, acknowledged the new reality in an interview.
“The way the landscape has changed these days, with consolidation, this is the counterbalance one would need to exist and compete with the formidable Bowery Presents-AEG alliance,” Mr. Swier said. “Going it alone was not an option.”