Atlanta Orchestrates Second Shed

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Woodruff Arts Center will build and operate a new 12,000-seat amphitheatre near Atlanta, the organizations announced January 25th.

The orchestra operates the nearby 6,900-seat Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta. However, unlike some orchestral venues that hemorrhage money, the ASO, with the help of Peter Conlon and Live Nation, has made Chastain profitable.

So much so that the orchestra is set to become the first in the U.S. to run two major amphitheatres. The new shed will be situated on a 45-acre parcel of land in Alpharetta owned by the Woodruff. Promoters have long wanted an outdoor venue in Alpharetta, but there was no word at press time if the orchestra plans to go it alone or include outside promoters.

The $35 million amphitheatre at Encore Park will be funded through a combination of bonds issued by the Arts Center and grants from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Fulton County Arts Council and City of Alpharetta.

Preliminary plans call for 7,000 covered seats and lawn seating to accommodate 5,000 or more. The design is expected to be completed by the end of March, with a June 1st groundbreaking and 2008 completion date.

Long-range plans for Encore Park include a performing arts complex and education center.