The Brooklyn 100: Ric Leichtung, Co-Founder, AdHoc
By Juliann DiNicola
Right when we thought we’d seen enough of Ric–the Market Hotel announced they were opening their doors again after five long years. Ric and AdHoc–the company he co-founded with its current Editorial Director Emilie Friedlander–are (of course) attached to the famed venue, ensuring it boasts a calendar worthy of its name. AdHoc is already everywhere–and with a monthly newsprint zine with contributions from New Yorker cartoons now attached to it’s moniker, it’s easy to understand why that is.
Tell us a little about your work via AdHoc. What drew you to this work to begin with?
AdHoc has a lot of moving parts– it’s a daily MP3 blog and a print publication, but we also promote a ton of shows. I started booking because a lot of the artists I liked weren’t getting gigs anywhere, and I started writing about music because my favorite bands really weren’t getting the time of day anywhere else.
You work with such a variety of different musical acts–what are you looking for in talent when you decide you want to book them? What makes an act special to bring to Brooklyn?
I’m always trying to look for something different and sticks out. It’s difficult to put into words but you feel it when you hear it. Definitely cliché, but anyone listening to massive amounts of music will say something similar.
There is definitely a scene and community built around music in Brooklyn. As a promoter, how do you make an effort to gather interest in shows from folks who aren’t, well, always going to shows?
Honestly I don’t really care about people who aren’t always going to shows because that’s not the company we keep. We book our shows in community-driven DIY spaces that give more to artists and aren’t as invested in the customer satisfaction of a casual fan. But at the end of the day I get that people can’t go to everything all the time– social anxiety is a really normal thing now. So we try to encourage people to go out more by writing about the best bands we have coming up and booking the best shows we can. AdHoc is very much a labor of love and I don’t have time to convince people to listen to something I don’t think is good. We don’t fuck with shit we don’t like.
You are working with Todd P on the newly resurrected Market Hotel, a venue that had a huge impact on music in BK. What role do you think a venue can play in influencing a local culture/scene? And why do you think that space in particular resonated with people?
Venues play a huge role in the scene, and Market Hotel is definitely a game-changer. What really excites me is it’s size– it’s the largest DIY venue out there right now, which means bigger bands have the choice to stay with smaller community-oriented businesses and not have to play places operated by Live Nation, AEG, or Bowery Presents and that means something.
What is on the horizon for you + AdHoc? What changes/progress do you think could benefit Brooklyn’s music culture?
I’ve been thinking a lot about Showpaper, which was a single-sheet newspaper that listed all the local shows in the tri-state area. You didn’t have to go online to find something to do because Showpapers were all over the city telling you what was going on. People took it for granted. It ceased publishing over the past couple years and something’s been missing ever since.
Ric was recently announced as a new curator for National Sawdust’s second season.
To see the rest of the 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture list, please visit here.
A previous version of this article stated the AdHoc print was quarterly, when it is monthly. This has been updated.