San Antonio’s The Espee To Open With Day-Long Festival Featuring The Head And The Heart, Bartees Strange, Danielle Ponder

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A rendering of the action to take place at the Espee, a 3,000-capacity outdoor space in San Antonio. (Courtesy Venue)

Once a bustling hub for train travel to California, Missouri and Louisiana, The Espee delivers amphitheater-style live entertainment in San Antonio, Texas, with All Aboard at The Espee on March 4. 

The event is to include featured artists The Head and the Heart, Danielle Ponder, Grupo Fantasma, UPSAHL, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Mike and The Moonpies, and a DJ set by Bartee Strange.

With the Espee, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), operator of the historic Majestic and Empire Theatres, has added the outdoor venue to their lineup of downtown San Antonio performance venues. The boutique amphitheater and special event venue has a capacity of 3,175 located in the historic St. Paul Square entertainment district a short walk from the 72,000-capacity Alamodome. 

The plaza dates back to 1778 and eventually took its name from the St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church, which was constructed between 1870 and 1880. Originally named the Southern Pacific Railroad’s Sunset Limited Train Route, the location quickly became a famous train station that served as a central connection to numerous states. Over the years it earned nicknames such as “The Building of 1000 Lights,” “The Crossroads of America” and “The S.P.”

The current Espee moniker is an homage to the past and short for Southern Pacific Railroad Network.

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“The Espee is the perfect addition to San Antonio’s growing entertainment landscape–from venues and musical performances to community gatherings and everything in between,” said Emily Smith, ATG General Manager, in a release. “This unique, beautiful and historic space will bring even more creative experiences to San Antonio for the entire community to enjoy.”

ATG operates historic theaters worldwide and The Espee will be its first outdoor performance venue in San Antonio rounding out the roster of ATG venues in the market: The Majestic Theatre, built in 1929, with a 2,264 cap and the Empire Theatre, which opened in 1931 and seats 864. 

The goal is to bring more entertainment and nightlife to the St. Paul Square neighborhood while preserving the rich history and architecture. Upgrades made throughout the venue include enhanced in-house sound and lighting, renovated artist accommodations, creation of a tour production office, addition of satellite bar areas throughout the property, enhanced landscaping, and refreshed restroom facilities.

One dollar from each $75 ticket sold at the March 4 shindig will benefit the local nonprofit San Antonio for Growth on the Eastside, which champions investments that improve the quality of life for individuals, families, neighborhoods, and businesses on San Antonio’s Eastside. 

Other scheduled events at the venue include Sabrina Carpenter on March 25 and the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum’s “Fiesta Family Blues Festival” on April 28.