No Rock In These Parts

The redevelopment commission in Carmel, Ind., has approved plans for an $80 million, 1,600-seat performance hall, and the City Council might give it the green light in May. One thing’s for sure though: Ain’t no pot-smokin’ fans of rock ‘n’ roll coming to this joint.

“This is a very, very specific type of venue targeted toward a Carmel market,” Mayor Jim Brainard said during the redevelopment commission meeting. “We’re not going to have Deadheads or drugs here. This will be a true concert hall.”

The mayor was assuaging the fears of some citizens who were concerned that the city’s most expensive project ever could see arrests and drug problems that have occurred at the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, according to The Indianapolis Star.

Although the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has committed to play four to six concerts in the venue’s first year, according to the mayor, some residents were equally concerned that classical music wouldn’t sustain the concert hall and its 500-seat theatre.

“The pressure will be on to get attendance up and get a lot of people to visit Carmel, and I’m worried that could turn into one rock concert or 20 rock concerts a year,” a resident said at the meeting.

A New York concert hall consultant has been hired to study what can be brought into the arts center, the Star said, and he has decided the volunteer-based Carmel Symphony Orchestra would be the primary performance group for the venue, with traveling artists swinging through.