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Morgan Margolis

Knitting Factory Entertainment
CEO/ President
From growing up within a dedicated show business household to becoming the CEO of an ever-expanding organization, Morgan Margolis with over 20 + years of Hospitality and Entertainment experience, has been on a long journey that continues to move forward and upward.
 
At the beginning of 2000, Margolis signed with Knitting Factory Entertainment (KFE) as Operations Manager at the newly opened Knitting Factory Club, Los Angeles. At the time, KFE’s enterprises included only the Hollywood venue, and the well-known Manhattan avant-jazz club (est 1987) and a catalog of independent music on the KF label.  
 
“At Knitting Factory Los Angeles, simultaneously managing three rooms seven nights a week at three different capacities and variable music genres really prepared me for anything tossed my direction,” notes Margolis. “It was a constant state of organized chaos.”
 
Margolis took over as Vice President of West Coast Operations as the company expanded to the Pacific Northwest, where KFE opened concert houses in Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington, and also produced tours and concerts at other high-capacity venues throughout the nation. After successfully running Pacific Northwest operations, Margolis was promoted, in 2007, to Vice President of National Operations.
 
Within a year, Margolis was named CEO of Knitting Factory Entertainment and for the last eight years has helmed the company. Guiding the corporation from a three unit venue business, with Five Million yearly gross rev, to a twenty unit multiple tiered operation and portfolio company to north of Forty Million a year in grosses and 600 employees nationally.  
 
Outside the norm of day to day promotions, Knitting Factory co-produced the TonyAward winning, Grammy-nominated musical “FELA!” based on KFE-produced musician and Afrobeat godfather Fela Kuti. That show became a kernel of KFE’s first theatrical film, the Oscar-Nominated Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela, which had a theatrical, digital and DVD/BD release in 2014. Most recently KFE served as producer on the 2016 documentary,They Will Have To Kill Us First.
 

The label has also partnered with Partisan Records, a Brooklyn-based indie label, www.partisanrecords.com. KFE further consolidated management companies and formed Knitting Factory Management, www.knittingfactorymgmt.com and finalized its music management moves by adding, Van Johnson of Van Johnson Company Management, handling the careers of actors, directors, writers, producers and Selby Artist Management, www.selbyartistmgmt.com – award winning dance / theatre / composers.  
 
Margolis is key in relationship building and in 2016 he strategically aligned KFE to a multi-year seven figure deal with ticketing giant, Ticket Master / Ticket Web. His overall vision is to turn KFE into a 360 Entertainment company and these steps have led to key ownership stakes in media enterprises including: Giant Step Marketing and Media (www.giantstep.net), an award winning experiential organization. The Connect Group (www.theconnectgrp.com) an agency focused on food, sports and entertainment;  and a recent large stake investment into Spaceland Presents (www.spaceland.tv); LA’s premiere independent music promotions company encompassing Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert series plus curated events at The Getty, The Annenberg, The Natural History Museum and Echo Park Rising. KFE also owns the “taste maker” web property, The Talkhouse (www.thetalkhouse.com), connecting the conversation between artists.
 
“With venues, restaurant / bars, touring, label, a marketing and publicity machine at our fingertips, and the artists coming through our own venues, it just seemed logical to me to try and create a division that would take care of the artist and help to move their careers forward through our system,” says Margolis. “This division is still expanding and I’m currently looking at numerous strategic partnerships with other companies.”
 
KFP i.e.: KF Presents, the national touring and promotions arm of KFE has also expanded its footprint. Booking national acts across multiple states including, but not limited to Memorial Stadium, Idaho and Big Sky Brewery Amphitheatre in Montana, between the two approximately 25 shows and 100k plus fans play outdoors. KFP also has contracts with Highline NYC, Slo Brew, CA, Cambria Hotel, TN Slowdown, NE, The Myth, MI as a talent buyer. Recent partnership also included Rachel Rays Feedback in Chicago, Desert Daze Festival, Joshua Tree CA,Hortons Hayride, CA and many others.
 
In describing the company’s diversification, “KFE has really had a paradigm shift, Margolis says. “We’ve moved from essentially a straightforward brick and mortar venue and touring company to a multi-layered media company. All of our assets are intertwined to create a new network that works for the greater growth of each of the business units. Sometimes I feel as though we are an eight-headed serpent and it definitely gets very difficult to rein in all of the areas we’ve expanded to. But in the long run, our goal is to expand the business to also handle outside companies and consult on business development and branding, sponsorship, advertising, construction, promoting and more. KFE is looking to become a one-stop shop for a multitude of content needs and outlets.”  

To that end, Margolis has diversified Knitting Factory Entertainment in many unpredictable yet undeniably connected ways, such as opening the successful North Hollywood and Long Beach gastropubs The Federal http://www.thefederalbar.com/ and most recently, downtown Los Angeles’ Regent Theatre (Prufrock Pizzeria and Lovesong Bar) and another North Hollywood restaurant, El Tejano  http://eltejanotexmex.com/  (El T is ear marked for expansion in 2018); Hospitality division highlights have helped drive an additional Twenty Million in gross revenue yearly. Further hospitality expansion in 2017 added a stake in LA’s growing craft beer scene by taking a position in Boomtown Brewery, www.boomtownbrew.com.  
 
KFE made its first foray into the hotel business by investing in the newly launched Arrive Hotel brand (www.arrivehotels.com) —the city’s first ground-up hotel project in 10 years--spring 2016 in Palm Springs. The synergy of these endeavors, from the recording studio to the stage to Broadway to Brooklyn, points to a company with the creative leadership to continue to grow and provide endless high-quality entertainment options.
 
“How does running restaurants fit in with managing a band or promoting an act?”  Margolis explains, “There are some direct crossovers as its all hospitality in the end. How do you treat your customer? Dealing with the different personalities and doing everything you can to put the right product in front of the consumer, taste, design detail, staffing. It’s central to our philosophy that management, giving the personal touch, and staying up to date with all of the clientele, as well as, with shifting technology and social platforms.”
 
Margolis acknowledges the contributions of his department/division heads in pushing the KFE brand forward. Essentially, while each member has deep experience in their key business unit, we are ‘all hands on deck’ and most team members can and must cross over to lend a hand in all departments when needed. “Most of this team has been with me since I took the reins as CEO in 2008. To say we couldn't succeed without their individual and collective contributions would be an understatement.”
 
“Each day, we propel Knitting Factory Entertainment further into the future; strategically integrating KFE across an increasingly diverse portfolio of revenue-driving business units, from a broadening spectrum of Entertainment, Management, Technology, Consulting and Hospitality disciplines."
 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/morganmargolis/
 
 
 
Press Highlights
 
http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/11/business/la-fi-ct-himi-margolis-20121111
 
http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7348318/knitting-factory-rebrandsmanagement-division-kfm
 
http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/music-festivals/7393433/knitting-factorydesert-daze-festival
 
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/la-et-ms-spaceland-knitting-factory20160915-snap-story.html
 
https://www.slobrew.com/2016/05/17/slo-brews-talent-booking-managed-knittingfactory/
 
http://www.startribune.com/new-york-s-knitting-factory-to-take-the-reins-of-mythnightclub-in-maplewood/415704944/
 
http://www.gazettes.com/lifestyle/federal-underground-opens-new-opportunities-fordowntown-entertainment/article_2f90e6ba-797c-11e3-a69d-001a4bcf887a.html
 
http://missoulian.com/entertainment/music/big-sky-brewing-unveils-new-amphitheaterdesign/article_7ad44e06-de40-5c90-9f4f-49fc5e1bfa2c.html