And they said, let there be music! In a unanimous 5-0 vote last night, the Irvine City Council voted to approve a new amphitheater to Orange County Great Park this summer.
In the past year, the city council kept mum over the proposed new venue and had expressed some concerns — most notably about parking and congestion. Apparently, what they heard from Live Nation and FivePoint representatives and in the firm plans was good enough for them to not let a summer slip away without large scale music events leaving Irvine.
“The Irvine City Council is continuing a tradition that has brought hundreds of thousands of people together for more than three decades in our city,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner in a press release. “In doing so, we recognize the enormous economic engine that live music fuels in Irvine and beyond, and the cultural importance of live music as part of Orange County’s identity. FivePoint and Live Nation’s proposal enables us to collectively develop recreational, cultural and educational opportunities for the enjoyment of Orange County residents and visitors.”
Fans lined City Hall wearing red “Save Live Music Irvine” t-shirts, with some filling the council chambers.
The proposed amphitheater will seat over 12,000 people. Though its smaller than Irvine Meadows' capacity, it will have to do.
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“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 of 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."
Bret Gallagher, president of Southern California Live Nation, echoed that sentiment.
"We couldn’t be happier to continue to be part of the unique culture of live music in Irvine,” Gallagher said. “We are excited to partner with FivePoint, a company that embodies the spirit of California living, to build and operate what will be a high-quality event venue with spectacular views of the Santa Ana Mountains as well as outstanding conveniences and amenities that cater to music fans of all ages.”