Riverbend To Add Shed

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is upgrading the Live Nation-run, symphony-owned Riverbend Music Center by adding a 4,100-seat pavilion.

Construction will start this summer on the second pavilion and the venue is expected to be ready for shows by June 2008, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

It will be located near the current 23-year-old amphitheatre, which has 6,000 seats under its roof and room for 14,000 on the lawn.

The new pavilion is reflective of the changing concert industry, geared toward acts that want to play smaller spaces. Orchestra officials hope artists like Norah Jones, Diana Krall or Harry Connick Jr. will be the type of acts featured at the new venue, which they believe may be the first of its kind.

Orchestra executive director Mike Smith told Pollstar that the new pavilion will feature family shows, Broadway productions and other acts but that the priority is contemporary music.

Smith said the intimate venue will be state-of-the-art, including wide aisles and excellent sight lines from all seats. He added that since the venue is owned by the symphony, acoustics are naturally a very high priority.

The facility will receive $3.25 million in state capital funds and the symphony will pick up $3 million of the bill through private contributions, according to the Enquirer.

Naming rights are going to Cleveland-based National City Bank, but officials would not disclose the price tag on the 10-year deal.

Last year, Riverbend hosted about three dozen shows and the venue has brought in more than $1 million a year for the symphony, according to the paper. Smith estimates the new pavilion will bring in an additional 20 to 30 shows a year. – Sarah Marie Pittman