Seattle Series Axed Again

For the second year in a row, summer evenings in Seattle will be a little less musical following the cancellation of the Summer Nights concert series.

But that’s not where it ends, as series organizers One Reel and a local committee are in discussions to move the event to Seattle Center’s Mural Amphitheatre next year, according the Post-Intelligencer.

The venue has hosted events during the Bumbershoot Festival and other concert series. The amphitheatre, which holds 2,000-5,000 fans on its lawn, would need some adjustments to host a seated, ticketed event.

Michele Scoleri, artistic director of programming at One Reel, told Pollstar there are advantages to using the shed, as the site is a hub for arts and culture in the city.

"Its location in the center of the city and our long-standing history of producing Bumbershoot on the Seattle Center campus makes it an appealing location for a permanent home for the Summer Nights concert series," Scoleri said. "We are currently working with the Seattle Center to study the feasibility of enhancing the Mural Amphitheatre to accommodate the needs of producing the series long term with the same quality that Summer Nights has always offered."

The mid-June to August series traditionally took place on a Seattle pier, but had to move in 2005 because of renovations to that site. The next setting, South Lake Union Park, underwent construction during the summer of 2006, causing the relocation to Gas Works Park.

But the proposed move was a cause of concern for citizens group Friends of Gas Works Park, which slapped One Reel with a lawsuit to require an environmental impact study before the series could run. The group was apparently concerned about traffic, noise and parking at Gas Works, and One Reel canceled the series for the summer.

If the Mural Amphitheatre proves to be a suitable venue, One Reel will begin looking for sponsorship and booking opportunities for the 2008 season.

Seattle Center communications manager Kari Shaw told the paper feasibility studies should be completed by April, and public input has been positive thus far.

"It’s clearly something we want to do," Shaw said. "It’s something that has come up in a lot of out studies. The public has said they want a summer concert series at Seattle Center."