Anyone hoping to enjoy a live performance under the stars at the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool has exactly one more chance to do so for the foreseeable future: Flogging Molly on March 16.
After that, its calendar goes blank, bizarre given that springtime at the Strip-overlooking space—one of the most breathtaking and beloved venues in town—has traditionally featured at least one act also playing Coachella in nearby Southern California and has taken advantage of pre-summer temperatures. In contrast, Cosmo’s indoor hall, the Chelsea, is booked well into fall. Are shows ending at Boulevard Pool?
Through a PR rep, the Cosmopolitan declined to speak with the Weekly, but an off-the-record source who claims knowledge of the situation says the Chelsea will continue to host shows year-round, while the Pool will be limited to hotel guests during pool season, after which shows may resume. But it’s hard to imagine many bands and fans will be eager to shiver through gigs during jacket season.
The real strategy could be cutting costs and upping earnings, a priority since Blackstone bought the formerly unprofitable property in late 2014. Since then, the Cosmopolitan has reduced the number of entertainment events it stages. Furthermore, according to another anonymous source affiliated with the property, those entertainment decisions are often made less to build or maintain the sort of buzz the Cosmo enjoyed in its first few years, and more to maximize activity in the casino. Locals wanting to see Neon Trees, Robyn or Bright Eyes aren’t going to throw down at the craps table. But fans of more established acts like Bob Dylan, Lady Antebellum and Alice Cooper might. Those acts were booked at the Chelsea, which tends to feature more conventional, more expensive and thus potentially more profitable shows—though there’s some overlap, as Pool alums and less-mainstream acts The Shins and Band of Horses are scheduled to play the Chelsea, which is also bringing back Coachella-bound Empire of the Sun.
It might pencil out for the Cosmo, but it’s a disappointment for music fans losing out on a great venue and its wide-ranging bookings—as they did after the shuttering of Book & Stage, even more of a loss leader-turned-cred-forming live venue. The Cosmopolitan’s unofficial reign as the musical Mecca of the Strip would appear to be over.