Music fans wearing red “Save Live Music Irvine” t-shirts made a strong statement to the council that they wanted the amphitheater to be approved. Speakers in support of the plan took their turns at the podium to urge the council to approve the temporary venue, but also to move ahead with plans to approve and build a permanent outdoor music venue near the Cultural Terrace.
Councilmember Lynn Schott raised concerns about the completion of roadways in the area in time for the amphitheater opening and Councilmember Jeff Lalloway proposed conditions to be attached to the approval. Schott conceded and Lalloway then withdrew his proposed conditions.
Ultimately the council unanimously approved the plan. The 5-0 vote in favor of the interim amphitheater brought cheers and applause from the overflowing crowd.
“This is a win for all live music lovers and especially the nearly 35,000 fans who offered their voices to the Save Live Music Irvine initiative,” said Emile Haddad, chairman and CEO, FivePoint in a statement. “The cornerstone of how we build communities is connectivity. We believe what makes communities great is diversity and inclusivity. I don’t believe there is a better place to find that than a live music venue and that’s why this decision is important. We’re excited because when you add music to sports, education, jobs and housing you enhance the experience for everyone and that’s how a community is built.
“I only hope that soon we will be celebrating the approval of the permanent amphitheater at the Great Park to insure live music in Irvine continues for many generations to come,” Haddad added.
The newly approved venue replaces the now-closed Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, a site that brought music fans together each summer for the past 35 years to hear music legends of rock, country, jazz and more.
FivePoint and Live Nation had proposed building and operating the interim outdoor venue on 45 acres of property at the end of the runways next to the Great Park. The collaborative effort is a three-year commitment.
Live Nation says it hopes to bring its first concert to the new location by late summer.