BY BO EMERSON
The Woodruff Arts Center announced Tuesday it has reached an agreement with Live Nation Worldwide, Inc. to operate and manage Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.
Over an initial 20-year term, the arts center would receive fixed payments from Live Nation but would continue to own the 12,000-seat outdoor facility and the surrounding 45 acres in Alpharetta.
The changeover will take place immediately.
The Woodruff already collaborates with Live Nation in scheduling and marketing events at the city-owned Chastain Park Amphitheater, a relationship that will continue. In addition to performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheare hosts pop and country acts such as Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams and the Zac Brown Band.
"We’ll continue to do what we think is appropriate for the venue," said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta. "With our touring experience and the acts out there, there should be some good shows. We’ve had a long history working with the symphony at Chastain, and this gives us a chance to do what we do best, which is programming."
Conlon said there is the possibility that some acts could play both venues, and in most instances, the artist's management decides which venue to play.
Many shows are already inked for this upcoming season, including Van Morrison April 24, the Avett Brothers May 7 and Ellie Goulding June 6.
Opened in 2008, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre is intended to bring Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performances to the northern arc, and also serve as a facility for other performances and events. About 20-25 events currently are held at the amphitheater each year.
The arrangement will allow the Woodruff to “benefit from a more predictable stream of revenues to support the core mission of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” said Virginia Hepner, president and chief executive officer at the Woodruff, in a statement.
Staff writer Melissa Ruggieri contributed to this story.