The Casino Ballroom is located at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. The ballroom has hosted many entertainers of all different styles for over 100 years. It is one of the best kept secrets on the East Coast of the United States. The ballroom recently underwent renovations and is a landmark of Hampton Beach.
Performers who have played the ballroom include Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Janice Joplin. The ballroom expanded in 1927 to meet the changing nature of entertainment and to hold 5,000 people and to have the largest dance floor in New England. Up to 20,000 people used the large space each week.
Many changes were required at the ballroom after an unruly incident at a Jethro Tull concert where fans without tickets attempted to enter the ballroom in any way possible and this led to rock and roll concerts being banned in Hampton. After this incident the ballroom was sold to a facility of local businessmen who were going to restore the ballroom to its former glory.
The ballroom was restored to many of its original features and reopened in the 1970s as a Club Casino; this however, did not draw promoters back to the venue as they were worried about another incident happening such as what happened at the Jethro Tull concert. The owners then booked small name bands, at the time, such as U2, Ray Charles and Tom Jones to restore their reputation. This paid off and after further renovation in the late 70's, which then led to bookings of entertainers such as Melissa Etheridge and Jerry Seinfeld. The ballroom became so popular that up to 50 events were held in a three month period, this was unheard of at the time for music halls.
More renovations were required as the previous renovations were out-dated and the club has a reputation for having tough bouncers and strict dancing rules. The name was then changed back to Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom to gain back some of its past popularity. The hotel next to the ballroom was demolished and the fasade of the building was changed.
The ballroom was now ready for its first concert in 1995, the RatDog concert.
Memories of the Jethro Tull incident lingered as the concert was held the day that Jerry Garcia died and a large amount of media and fans descended on the ballroom. No incident occurred due to improved security and customer service. The ballroom was now ready to provide the people of Hampton and visitors to the town with another decade of entertainment service.