As we all know, Irvine Meadows is closing at the end month. If you haven’t been paying attention, Gwen Stefani and Young the Giant are ushering out the music before the amphitheater meet the wrecking ball. But hold back those tears and have no fear, good news is on the way!
FivePoint, in partnership with Live Nation Entertainment, announced plans for a new — and much rumored—temporary amphitheater that will hopefully keep killer (and major) live music in Irvine. The company has filed a conditional use permit with the City of Irvine to open a 12,000-seat outdoor venue in — that’s right — in the Great Park by the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For those who aren’t math majors, that’s slightly smaller than the 16,000-person Irvine Meadows, which basically would be the same thing but without the lawn area.
This agreement between the companies sees them join forces in a three-year deal, which will allow them to run the interim venue, while Live Nation continues to find a permanent home for the venue. FivePoint has filed for a interim permit to put the venue on the outside of Great Park, which won’t require a public hearing. The location would have about 4,500 parking spots and is situated extremely close to the Irvine train station. FivePoint is also in talks with the city
As part of this arrangement, Live Nation would operate, design and build the new venue, and it’s subsequent parking area. The two companies hope to get the building erected in time for the 2017 season, which would seamlessly bridge the time between tours without potentially losing band’s interest in heading to the area.
If you haven’t been to Irvine Meadows in the past few months, there’s been a nice sized canvas where you walk in and can sign it to save live music in the area. So far, over 30,000 people put pen to canvas, and it seems like moves are being made. Live Nation alluded to keeping music in Irvine in our cover story, and this seems to be the first major salvo that the company is doing what it can to be true to its word.
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Sounds good, right? Not so fast.
The plans for the amphitheater are only temporary, which in this case means three years. The city is currently figuring out plans to build a permanent amphitheater within in the confines of the Great Park, and is something that’s been discussed for a while now.
When contacted, Irvine city spokesman Craig Reem couldn’t speak specifically to the matter, as it will be going to the City Council next. But, he did say that the hot topics to be discussed when the council discusses the matter and the yet-to-be determined time will be traffic congestion and circulation issues. This also includes the necessity for adequate parking, ins and outs, pedestrian safety, amongst the issues, he says.
Though this hardly solves the long-term issue of keeping large scale music in Irvine, for the time being, this solution seems logical enough where fans can keep rockin’ for the time being while bureaucracy does its thing and hopefully will give the people, and bands, what they want in playing in a new killer amphitheater in Irvine.