The Hutto City Council has approved spending $3.4 million to build an amphitheater able to accomodate at least 10,000 people in a city park that will host multiple events, including a series of country music concerts.
The city is paying for the construction with certificate of obligation bonds approved by the council in September.
The City Council also agreed, at its April 5 meeting, to let City Manager Odis Jones negotiate a contract with alternative country radio station KOKE-FM for four to six events per year at the new venue, in addition to the second annual KOKEFest. Information was not available Wednesday on whether a contract had been negotiated.
Construction on the amphitheater will start this month at a park at 1001 County Road 137 in Hutto and is expected to take about four months, said Eliska Padilla, the city’s communications director. There will also be other genres of music presented at events in the park including rock, she said.
A representative for FTWoods Construction, which is building the amphitheater, declined to comment Wednesday on the project.
The park where the amphitheater will be located has not yet been formally named by the City Council but is known as Hutto Park at Brushy Creek, Padilla said.
The amphitheater will be able to seat 4,000 people and there will also be space for at least 6,000 people in a grassy area, she said. A shade structure will cover the VIP area and a temporary shade structure will cover the stage, Padilla said.
The amphitheater area also will include a pavilion; eight electrical hookups for RVs; a park bathroom with three stalls for men and three for women; paved roads to accommodate RVs and three new entrances, Padilla said. Two of the entrances will be off County Road 137 and one will be off County Road 163.
The city’s Parks and Recreation Board will consider allowing camping at the park as it is developed, she said.
KOKE-FM is excited about the new amphitheater, said Kristina Killingsworth, the marketing director for Austin Radio Network, also known as Genuine Austin Radio, which owns the station.
The radio station had its first KOKEFest at another location in Hutto last year and people “came in droves,” she said.
“Over the years, as Austin’s population has grown and traffic has become an issue, it occurred to us that people aren’t coming into Austin on a regular basis to see live music because the traffic is just so bad,” she said. “When we put together KOKEFest last year we said, ‘Let’s take live music out to a smaller community and see if they respond.’”
The second KOKEFest will be at the amphitheater area Aug. 10-11, even though the project might not be finished, Killingsworth said.
The Hutto City Council has approved using $250,000 in hotel occupancy taxes to pay Genuine Austin Radio to host this year’s KOKEFest, Mayor Doug Gaul said.