Irvine to Work With Live Nation to Find Permanent Site for Amphitheater in Great Park

By Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis
Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.
April 28, 2022 Updated: May 2, 2022

IRVINE, Calif.—The City of Irvine will be contracting with concert venue operator Live Nation to find an area inside the Great Park to build a permanent amphitheater, after approving the matter during an April 26 council meeting.

Currently, the city has been using the FivePoint Amphitheatre, a temporary location south of the Great Park since 2016, after the Irvine Meadows amphitheater off Irvine Center Drive was closed for demolition.

The city council’s unanimous vote will give Live Nation 210 days to work with the city to find a 20-acre area to fit the planned amphitheater.

Live Nation is also paying the city $30,000 for “consultants, attorneys, engineers, and other third party services undertaken to accommodate the City’s responsibilities under the agreement,” according to an April 26 city document (pdf).

The logo of Live Nation Entertainment
The logo and trading information for Live Nation Entertainment is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on May 3, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

One of the main concerns for the project is noise coming from live music performances.

Vice Mayor Anthony Kuo said he has heard noise from the current FivePoint Amphitheater despite living about five miles away, and there have been complaints coming from “residents who actually don’t live close by.”

Kuo said he believes the sounds of particularly loud concerts have “traveled along corridors, such as the San Diego Creek Channel or Irvine Center Drive, or through the Quail Hill open space.”

Also, sound can bounce from the metal bleachers at the temporary amphitheater, Kuo said, noting that the future permanent site will use sound-absorbing material.

As to why the city council chose to work with Live Nation—which organized the AstroWorld Festival in Houston, Texas, which left ten people dead and hundreds injured in November 2021—Kuo emphasized the company’s history of operating in Irvine since the 1980s.

Police block an entrance to NRG Park the morning after a deadly crush of fans in Houston
The main stage of NRG Park is seen the morning after a deadly crush of fans took place during an Astroworld Festival performance by rapper Travis Scott in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 6, 2021, in a still image from video. (KPRC/Click2Houston.Com via Reuters)

“As long as there’s been a live music amphitheater in Irvine, Live Nation has been the operator,” Kuo said.

In addition, options were limited, he said, since there were only a few organizations with substantial experience in managing large-scale venues and connecting with performers.

“[Live Nation] is the long-standing operator of these venues,” Kuo said. “My understanding is that there aren’t a lot of outfits that have the connections to the talent. I think there are maybe two or three groups that do this. And so for no other reason, then they’ve been the ones doing it, they know the market, and they know the talent.”

Drew Van Voorhis is a California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. He has been a journalist for six years, during which time he has broken several viral national news stories and has been interviewed for his work on both radio and internet shows.