New downtown Nashville Ascend Amphitheater lineup released

From The Tennessean

The first slate of shows for the city-funded downtown riverfront amphitheater was unveiled on Thursday, with country star Eric Church playing the debut concert on July 30.

The venue's name — Ascend Amphitheater — was also announced on Thursday at a press conference featuring Mayor Karl Dean, Live Nation executive Bob Roux and Nashville Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine. A slate of 21 shows were announced, including an Aug. 1 show headlined by Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire.

Counting Crows, Smashing Pumpkins, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jill Scott, Widespread Panic and Hall & Oates were also among the artists announced for the 6,800 capacity amphitheater that is the centerpiece of the new Riverfront Park.

Church's concert will be a solo acoustic performance and tickets for the show go on sale through Ticketmaster outlets on April 30 at 10 a.m. Ascend Amphitheater will also serve as the summer home for the Nashville Symphony, which will begin performing there in 2016, though a show for this fall is in the works as well.

"Two of our city's greatest assets are our music and our parks," Dean said. "So when we had the chance to put two of those things together, that's what I call playing to our strengths."

Dean said the $52 million project is on time and under budget. Dean touted the park's amenities including green space, downtown's first dog park, a community garden, a playground area, a bike repair station and even ping-pong tables. The community will have a chance to tour Riverfront Park at an open house on Aug. 2.

Parks Director Tommy Lynch said the venue will give visitors another reason to come to Nashville and residents another recreational option downtown.

"This new amenity to Riverfront Park is an important page in the city's history and just one more reason for people to make Nashville a destination or proudly call it home," Lynch said.