07/15/2015

Get your first look at Nashville's Ascend Amphitheater

Get your first look at Nashville's Ascend Amphitheater

 
 
A view from John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge of the new Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater. (Photo: Shelley Mays/The Tennessean)
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Music City has a new open-air picking parlor overlooking the river.

In about two weeks, Eric Church will open Nashville's new Ascend Amphitheater in Riverfront Park with back-to-back acoustic shows July 30 and July 31. Until then, crews will work to add finishing touches at the venue and the park, including more than 17,000 shrubs and flowers.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean hosted the first all-access media tour of the site Tuesday and said he "thinks it's beautiful."

"The amphitheater is so critical having it here," Dean said. "This a great symbol for our city. This is a symbol of Nashville, which is creativity, which is music. It's going to be a wonderful addition to our city. I couldn't be any happier with this project."

Here are five things to know about Ascend Amphitheater:

• The amphitheater provides seating for about 6,800 — made up of 2,200 removable chairs in the reserved seating sections near the stage, a lawn capacity of 4,500 and about 100 premium box seats between the reserved seating and lawn.

• The design of the amphitheater draws from its location by the river and was constructed to give guests views of the city as well as green space surrounding the entertainment complex.

• Ascend Amphitheater is inside Riverfront Park and will be open to see and free for viewing as part of the park when concerts aren't scheduled. The amphitheater's concert season will typically run from April through October.

• Twenty-seven shows are on the schedule for Ascend Amphitheater, which also will serve as the summer home for the Nashville Symphony starting in 2016, but the venue can host as many as 30 in a season. In addition to Church, other artists tapped to perform in the coming months include Phish, Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson, Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick, Idina Menzel, Sublime, Widespread Panic and Janet Jackson.

• Construction began on the city-funded amphitheater in March 2014 with a budget of $52 million. With a capacity to hold 6,800 fans, Ascend Amphitheater provides a place for entertainers to perform who attract a bigger crowd than Ryman Auditorium's 2,300 seats but aren't quite able to fill up Bridgestone Arena.

To bring viewers closer to the events, The Tennessean is filming in full 360-degree video and photos.

In the special player below, see what it's like to be on the grounds of the new Ascend Amphitheater.

View the 360 image by clicking and dragging your mouse to rotate the panorama left or right. Note, the player below is only viewable on desktop or mobile web versions of this story.

 

2015 concert lineup for Ascend Amphitheater

July 30: Eric Church

July 31: Eric Church

Aug. 1: Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire

Aug. 4: Phish

Aug. 5: Jill Scott

Aug. 6: My Morning Jacket

Aug. 7: Counting Crows with Citizen Cope

Aug. 8: Steely Dan and Elvis Costello

Aug. 9: The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson

Aug. 14: Needtobreathe and Switchfoot

Aug. 15: Idina Menzel

Aug. 16: Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick

Aug. 18: Sublime with Rome, Rebelution and Pepper

Aug. 22: Australian Pink Floyd with Led Zeppelin2

Aug. 28: Old Crow Medicine Show

Aug. 29: Under the Sun Tour featuring Uncle Kracker, Sugar Ray, Better than Ezra and Eve6

Sept. 1: ZZ Top with Blackberry Smoke

Sept. 5 and 6: Widespread Panic

Sept. 23: Daryl Hall & John Oates

Sept. 27: Janet Jackson

Oct. 2: Lynyrd Skynyrd with special guests

Oct. 8: Chris Tomlin

Oct. 9: Florence + The Machine

Oct. 10: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Oct. 11: Jackson Browne

Oct. 13: All Time Low & Sleeping with Sirens: Back to the Future Hearts Tour

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com.

 

 

Riverfront Park

The public is invited to a community open house at Riverfront Park and Ascend Amphitheater 1-5 p.m. Aug. 2. There will be live music, tours and family-friendly activities.

Riverfront Park by the numbers:

• 11 acres of park space that incorporates gardens, gathering areas and lawns for events

• More than 1 mile of paths

• 13,000-square-foot dog park

• 18,000-square-foot ornamental garden along the river

• 25-foot-wide, 1,000-foot-long promenade along First Avenue that incorporates a two-way protected bike lane

• 45-foot-tall public art sculpture by artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan of Seattle

• Includes a variety of activities such as two Ping-Pong tables, nine custom swings, two half-court basketball courts, game boards for chess and checkers, and active workout area including 11-station fitness circuit

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