California-based Live Nation will schedule and produce large-scale concerts at a 15,000-seat amphitheater under construction at Circuit of the Americas, a racetrack in southeastern Travis County that will host its first Formula One race this fall.
The open-air amphitheater will host concerts by national touring acts mostly during the summer concert season, officials said at a press conference announcing the partnership Monday. Organizers hope to have the amphitheater finished by the spring, with the first concert soon after.
The first Formula One race is scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 16-18.
"Live Nation has not only been successful booking and promoting amphitheaters in Houston and Dallas, but they're also familiar with the Austin market," circuit President Steve Sexton told the American-Statesman. "Our agreement allows us to work with Live Nation and gives us latitude to work with C3 if we want to."
The circuit will manage the venue, including the day-to-day operations, spokeswoman Julie Loignon said.
"It makes sense that we'll probably take the booking role, the marketing role, traditional concert promotion role," Live Nation's Bob Roux said.
The open-air amphitheater, which was designed by Austin's Miro Rivera Architects, will be the largest of its kind in Central Texas.
It will have grass seating as well and space for 6,500 reserved seats, architect Juan Miro said. Only the stage will be covered, he said.
It will be called the Tower Amphitheater after one of its signature features, a 22-story steel structure with an observation deck that will overlook the circuit and the amphitheater.
"If you look around the Central Texas region, you have the Backyard that has 5,000 capacity, the Erwin Center that has indoor capacity, so there is an opportunity for an outdoor venue of large magnitude like this," Sexton said.
ACL Live enters a new dimension. ACL Live is adding another element to its already impressive array of video technology: 3D. Last week, the venue announced a partnership with Sabella Dern (SD) Entertainment and Video Equipment Rentals that will make it the country's first "permanent stereoscopic 3D production studio." The technology, which will yield a glasses-free 3D experience, will allow the venue to tape concerts in 3D and rent the facility to other groups wanting to film using the technology.
— Peter Mongillo
Britt's new gig. Divine Fits, the new band made up of Spoon's Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner and New Bomb Turks' Sam Brown, will play their first show Aug. 1 at Beerland. Austin rock band the Young will open. Subsequent shows will happen in Montreal, Columbus, Ohio and Chicago. The band, which has been in town recording an album, "A Thing Called Divine Fits" (out Aug. 28 on Merge), announced the show on their website last week. Tickets sold out almost immediately.
Whole lotta bugs? It's not exactly a secret at this point that Robert Plant spends at least some of his time in Austin, making it even stranger that the former Zeppelin front man told Britain's Independent last week that he "eloped and ran off to Texas," where he lives in "an old crack house in Austin." Also, he lives with termites: "I tap my hand on the table, and they fly out the walls in this huge cloud, like something from a Disney film." And those termites do a killer song and dance number. Plant's new project, the Sensational Space Shifters, which features Patty Griffin, JuJu's Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara, among others, performs in England this week.
Contact Peter Mongillo at email@example.com; 445-3696.