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Starland Ballroom
Starland Ballroom.JPG
Exterior of venue (c.2008)
Former names Jernee Mill Inn (1962-87)
Hunka Bunka Ballroom (1987-2003)
Address 570 Jernee Mill Rd
Sayreville, NJ 08872-1753
Owner AEG
Operator The Bowery Presents
Capacity 2,500
Construction
Opened August 1962 (1962-08)
Closed October 29, 2012 (2012-10-29)
Reopened September 6, 2013 (2013-09-06)
Building details
General information
Renovated November 2012 - September 2013
Renovating team
Structural engineer Kipcon Engineering
Other designers
  • Heritage Industrial Services, Inc.
  • M. Silberstein Interior Design
  • Integrity Ironworks, Inc.

The Starland Ballroom is a concert venue located in Sayreville, New Jersey. Beginning in the 1960s, the building was known as the Jernee Mill Inn, a local bar with a banquet hall. It was then known as the Hunka Bunka Ballroom, which operated as a dance music club in the 1980s and 1990s, though throughout the 1990s it often hosted concerts, specifically punk and ska lineups.

History

The venue opened in August 1962 as a banquet hall and tavern by brothers Chester, Frank decided to use the space as a concert venue, to fill the gaps in wedding and party reservations.

In 1982, the venue was purchased by Bernie Bailey. During this time, the main hall was used as a rehearsal space, during dark days. It is believed it John Bongiovi Jr. and Richard Sambora met before forming Bon Jovi.

Five years later, Bailey changed the name to the Hunka Bunka Ballroom and concerts served as the primary focus of the venue. As the Hunka Bunka, the club became one of Central Jersey's premier concert venues, catering to major and independent rock, country and hip-hop artists.

In October 2003, it was announced the Hunka Bunka was undergoing needed renovations. Independent concert promoter, Concerts East, signed on to operate the venue and promote its shows. Within five weeks, the club reopened as the Starland Ballroom, with a show by David Lee Roth.

Years later, Bailey and his partners (Frank Sementa and Kip Connor) sold the property to AEG. From 2007 to 2017, AEG Live (now AEG Presents) were the owners and operators of the building. In 2017, AEG Live purchased 50% of The Bowery Presents, with the latter becoming the operator of the venue.

In 2012, the venue saw significant damage because of Hurricane Sandy. The storm caused the Raritan River to flood, with the club being engulfed in six feet of water. The result was damage to the walls, flooring, electrical system and plumbing. The building closed late October 2012, canceling all concerts until March 2013. Renovation efforts began mid-November 2013, with 24 local contractors contributing to rebuilding the club. Renovations include adding a mezzanine in the rear of the main hall, updated lighting, improved sightlines, and acoustics, redesign of the backstage area and the dressing rooms. Flooding parameters were put in place to prevent any water damage in the future.

While the venue was slated to reopen in March 2013, AEG announced the club was set to reopen in September. Tickets for forthcoming events went on sale in June. The grand reopening took place on September 6, 2013, with a concert by Stone Temple Pilots.

From 2003 to 2013, it is reported the venue sold 1.3 million tickets.

Events

Taking Back Sunday has been hosting an annual Holiday Spectacular every year in December since 2013.

Coheed and Cambria filmed a concert and released it on DVD called Live at the Starland Ballroom.

MTV Classic's That Metal Show filmed at least one episode at the venue.

In 2005, the Starland hosted a pair of concerts to raise money for victims of the December 26 tsunamis. My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail and dozens more performed over two nights, raising over $150,000 for UNICEF and the International Red Cross.

In September 2005, Dashboard Confessional and Coheed and Cambria co-headlined an event to raise $80,000 for Direct Relief International's efforts to assist victims of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Noted performers

Coordinates: 40°26′25″N 74°21′19″W / 40.44028°N 74.35528°W / 40.44028; -74.35528

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