Live music to live on in Irvine
As the 35-year-old Irvine Meadows Amphitheater prepares for closure and demolition, Live Nation, together with FivePoint, today announced their intention to build a new amphitheater adjacent to the grounds of the Orange County Great Park. FivePoint has applied for a conditional use permit with the city of Irvine that will allow Live Nation to design and build a new outdoor music venue that could be ready in time for summer 2017, if the city of Irvine approves it.
The lineup of supporters was impressive. Assemblyman Don Wagner, a candidate for Irvine mayor, said, "I applaud the commitment of FivePoint and LiveNation to keep live music in Irvine. The amphitheater has been a great economic engine for Irvine and all of central Orange County. To lose the value it brings to our community would be an economic disaster, and would leave the arts in Orange County greatly diminished. But FivePoint and LiveNation have stepped up with a visionary plan that deserves the public's support."
Irvine City Councilmember Christina Shea; Pacific Symphony executive Frank Terraglio; and Sam Bowers, president of Local 504 all spoke in support. Bowers, who staffs Irvine Meadows stages and productions, spoke about the economic impact of the current facility on his members and their gratitude, thanks to this announcement. A host of other city officials and business and community leaders all spoke of the importance of outdoor music to communities, and stated that a new venue was important to the next generation of music lovers.
“Since the early 1980s, music lovers in Orange County and beyond have made Irvine their summer home, coming to see some of the greatest musical talents of all time,” said Emile Haddad, chairman and CEO, FivePoint, “We’re determined to keep this tradition alive by working with Live Nation to develop the next-generation, outdoor music venue in Irvine. Music plays a major role in building a community. It brings people together and breaks down barriers. Live, outdoor music is part of Orange County’s heritage and it is essential to its future.”
“Orange County has become a major concert stop for touring musical acts and Live Nation is committed to keeping the long tradition of live summer concerts alive and growing in this region,” said Bret Gallagher, president of Southern California for Live Nation. “We are excited about the opportunity to partner with FivePoint and build the highest quality interim amphitheater venue with all of the comforts and conveniences today’s guests are seeking.”
The new 45-acre interim amphitheater, now pending approval by the city of Irvine, will seat 12,000 fans and be located a mere two miles from the Irvine Company-owned Irvine Meadows venue that brought the world’s most notable artists to Irvine. The Irvine Company has announced plans to demolish the amphitheater and build apartments on the property.
Live Nation will model the new amphitheater after a similar outdoor facility it built in San Francisco in 2013. It will be positioned at the south end of the runways and will be within walking distance from the Irvine Transportation Center, a highly trafficked hub.
The new outdoor music venue is aligned with the city of Irvine’s master plan that includes a “cultural terrace” in the park - located on city-owned land. A final decision by the city regarding how the property will ultimately be built out is still pending.