Huntsville’s Approves Management Contract for New Amphitheater
November 7, 2019
The City of Huntsville is contracting with Huntsville Venue Group Amphitheater, LLC (HVG) to help develop and operate a new 8,500 seat amphitheater to be built in the public park adjacent to the new Mid City development.
City Council unanimously approved a 10-year contract with HVG. Under this contract, HVG will play a critical role in developing this unique, artist-driven venue. The company will also begin the process of marketing and branding the facility, identifying corporate sponsors, developing programs and setting up the first two seasons of ticketed events.
“This is another milestone in our ongoing effort to provide more quality of life options for our community,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “For Huntsville to continue to attract the best and brightest to our City, we’re going to need entertainment options that compete with other cities vying for our talent. We believe this amphitheater, with its unique approach to year-round programming, will give Huntsville another differentiator.”
The desire for a world-class performance venue was identified as a priority in Huntsville’s Big Picture Master Plan and in the City’s recent music audit. Research further revealed a thriving music economy in Huntsville, giving the City impetus to move forward with a music initiative to expand music offerings and education.
The outdoor amphitheater, however, is not just about music performance. The City envisioned a facility that would accommodate year-round community events and activities. Leaders visited similar facilities across the country and focused particularly on facilities where regular, civic programming is added to the mix of large format concerts.
“This is the concept that most excited us and one we believed would have the greatest benefit to our community,” said City Administrator John Hamilton. “In addition to sold-out country, rock, or R&B concerts, we expect multi-stage festivals, farmers’ markets, art festivals, and free holiday celebrations.”
About Huntsville Venue Group Amphitheater, LLC
HVG is the regional office of Venue Group, which has a presence in New York, Austin and London. It is led by Ben Lovett, co-founder of Communion Music and founding member of the Grammy-winning band Mumford & Sons, along with Mike Luba and Don Sullivan of Madison House Presents. Ryan Murphy, former manager of the St. Augustine Amphitheater, will serve as HVG’s president and on-site manager.
Learn more at huntsvilleamphitheater.com
“It is an inspiring thing to witness a facility that can be developed as a world-class destination for touring artists and fans, and one that truly transforms a community,” said Murphy. “Whether its hosting large community markets, art festivals or engaging in local nonprofit events, facilities such as these should be more than your average event space and be truly accessible to all of those who live in the community it represents. I am absolutely honored to be working with such an incredible team to bring this vision and reality to the great city of Huntsville.”
Three companies submitted proposals to the City to operate the new amphitheater. A six-person selection panel evaluated the applications and selected Huntsville Venue Group Amphitheater, LLC, as the preferred management company for the new facility.
The approved 10-year contract includes three, five-year extension options, required annual minimums for concerts and civic events, and strong budget controls.