The Austin360 Amphitheater — named for the Austin American-Statesman’s weekly entertainment guide and austin360.com, its long-running entertainment website — will debut next month at the Circuit of the Americas complex in Southeast Austin.
The American-Statesman, part of Cox Media Group, announced at a news conference Wednesday morning that it had reached a multiyear agreement to secure naming rights for the venue.
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On the Web
Watch a video tour of the new Austin360 Amphitheather at austin360.com.
Austin360 Amphitheater concerts
- April 5: Kenny Chesney
- April 18: Zac Brown Band
- April 26: The Lumineers
- May 2: Jimmy Buffett
- May 5: Jason Aldean
- May 21: Dave Matthews Band
- May 31: The Avett Brothers
- Aug. 4: Train
Not only does the Austin 360 Amphitheater’s 14,000-person capacity make it the largest outdoor music venue in the Austin area, it opens a door to many acts that might otherwise bypass the live music capital of the world for larger venues in Dallas and Houston. Country star Kenny Chesney — who last performed in Austin several years ago at the Erwin Center — will open the amphitheater’s inaugural season on Friday, April 5. Chesney will be followed by the Zac Brown Band (April 18) and roots music sensations the Lumineers, recent winners of Grammy awards in the best new artist and best Americana album categories (April 26).
As previously announced, Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, will book the Austin 360 Amphitheater along with Austin-based events company C3 Presents, owners of Stubb’s and Emo’s East and promoters of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, Lollapalooza and several other music festivals in the United States and abroad.
In addition to being the largest outdoor venue in the area, the amphitheater will offer parking, a necessity because of its size, but also an accommodation that will offer concertgoers a chance to tailgate before shows. That opportunity will be on full display when “Margaritaville” singer and songwriter Jimmy Buffett performs May 2. The parking lot will open at noon the day before the show to allow Buffet’s fans, who are known as Parrotheads and enjoy a famously passionate tailgating culture, to celebrate early. The venue expects a swarm of RV’s to set up camp in advance of the show.
A similar scene will likely take place later in May, when the Dave Matthews Band, who last performed in Austin at the ACL Music Fest in 2009, performs (May 21). Matthews, whose music draws from the worlds of rock, pop, jazz and other genres, maintains a large and loyal fanbase that is in some ways similar to the cult followings of bands such as the Grateful Dead and Phish.
Another past ACL Fest act — and a group that consistently sells out Austin shows — are bluegrass/folk/roots outfit the Avett Brothers, who will play the amphitheater later that month (May 31). Popular rock band Train, known for hits such as “Drops of Jupiter” and “Hey, Soul Sister,” is scheduled to play the venue on Aug. 4. Up to 13 additional shows might be announced as part of the amphitheater’s first season.
— Peter Mongillo