Construction is underway on a major music venue in Huntsville, Alabama. The Huntsville Amphitheater will have capacity for approximately 8,000 people, and is scheduled to open in Spring 2022.
The plans were unveiled by Venue Group, a global entertainment and hospitality group founded and led by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, and his partners.
The City of Huntsville, together with Venue Group, has been fine-tuning its vision for a major new music venue for the past several years. The goal is to deliver a magnificent, statement venue that will serve its community and bring top music talent to a region rich in cultural heritage.
The Huntsville Amphitheater is managed by Huntsville Venue Group (HVG), a joint venture partnership set up specifically to tackle the project. HVG is led locally by Ryan Murphy, and includes leadership from the global Venue Group team, including Ben Lovett, his brother Greg Lovett, Graham Brown and Jesse Mann, in partnership with other respected industry veterans Mike Luba, Don Sullivan, Jeff Kicklighter and Al Santos.
Lovett’s vision for Venue Group has long been to build a new era of world-class music venues combined with community growth and amenities. He and the USA-based team see Huntsville as the perfect location for their first foray into the US market.
The vision is to reinvent the concept of a major event space, expanding it to a 365-day experience that will, in addition to hosting live music, provide daily community-building opportunities for local groups, businesses and government organisations to hold both large-scale and small gatherings.
Venue Group is also currently in talks with regional chefs and local vendors to bring to life a food village that will operate year-round. This will not only provide food and beverage options to patrons of the amphitheatre, but also serve as an additional amenity and social space for Mid-City, a neighbourhood to the west of downtown Huntsville.
“One of the biggest trends in the past 10 years has been an elevation of the quality and variety of food offerings, especially around music,” said Ben Lovett. “We believe there is a huge amount of opportunity in the hospitality side of entertainment to deliver food and drinks of such excellence that they stand on their own two feet as an offering not simply as a way to tide you over, quench the thirst or satiate the hunger temporarily. We have to aspire for higher standards than that. One of the reasons that Huntsville is so appealing to me and the team is it feels like going the extra mile is in the DNA of this city and we intend to go the extra mile when it comes to not just the concert experience but the restaurants and bars that lay adjacent and that will serve customers year-round.”
“More than an amphitheatre, this facility will help us grow our music and culture economy,” said Tommy Battle, mayor of Huntsville. “It will allow us to become a community of curators, where we can develop our own creative content that is unique to Huntsville that we can share globally. In addition to arts festivals, markets and world-famous musicians, we’ll be able to incubate our own talent, showing that our next great entrepreneurs don’t all have to be in space and missile defence.”
Venue Group has previously developed “third-space” concepts Flat Iron Square and Goods Way in London, UK, which incorporate the Omeara and Lafayette music venues, respectively. It also has sister operations in the USA, with Austin Venue Group and Huntsville Venue Group, all managed globally by a team of specialists including Greg Lovett, who joined the team as CFO following many years with the Soho House Group. Venue Group currently has projects under development or in construction in the USA as well as imminent announcements about new sites in the UK.
Image: David M Schwartz Architects