March 14 isn’t just Pi Day for the nerds. It’s going to be a potentially major moment in the battle to bring a new amphitheater back to Orange County. With Irvine Meadows shuttering in October, there’s been plans laid out to ensure that the area isn’t devoid of a major music palace to enjoy some tunes and those hot summer nights.
The five-person Irvine City Council will vote on the status of a new amphitheater next week. Basically, what they’re going to be voting on is the proposal that Live Nation brought forward, along with FivePoint.
The two companies are hoping to join forces to open a 12,000-seat outdoor music amphitheater to replace in time for the 2017 summer season.
Granted that’s a pretty tight window, but, hey, it’s better than the alternative, right? This is the news music fans have been waiting to hear for a while. Live Nation and FivePoint are optimistic about their chances to bring live music to Orange County in a new fashion.
In a quick email interview, we caught up with Steve Churm, chief communications officer for FivePoint, who gave us the low down on what’s to come. He’s speaking on behalf of interim amphitheater partnership between FivePoint and Live Nation Entertainment.
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): What does this mean for the city?
Steve Churm: If approved, it means that the important 35-year cultural and economic tradition of major outdoor concerts in Irvine will continue for at least three more years. Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre was a cherished institution and a highly popular destination for music fans from across Southern California. It put Irvine on the entertainment map and provided an important venue for all genres of music and multiple generations of fans. We want to continue that tradition and bridge the gap between Irvine Meadows and a permanent facility on the city’s Cultural Terrace in the Orange County Great Park.
How quickly will it take for the venue’s construction?
In time for the interim venue to open in mid-summer.
When’s the goal for the first show to take place?
The goal is to open the interim facility for the second half of the summer season.
And if it fails, what next?
We are hopeful this interim facility will be approved by the Irvine Council, a decision that will be the next important step to a permanent amphitheater on the Cultural Terrace at the Great Park. A permanent venue has been part of the Great Park plans from the beginning. The public has always been steadfast in their desire to have a permanent amphitheater of scale and importance at the Great Park and we believe that remains the strong community sentiment today.