About / Future Plans / Arkansas Music Pavilion renovation information
Fall 2012 AMP Update
Walton Arts Center officials announced the signing of a one-year lease with the Washington County Fairgrounds for the 2013 AMP Season. A permanent location is still being explored.
Summer 2012 AMP Update
Following a storm on July 7 that caused significant damage to the venue,
clean-up and repairs have been made to ensure the AMP is ready for the Taste of
Country Music Festival on August 17 as well as the remaining shows for the 2012
Season. Discussions about next season and long-term plans for a more permanent
AMP are in progress, but no decision has been made at this time.
Arkansas Music Pavilion to relocate for summer 2012 season
Northwest Arkansas (January 31, 2012) Walton Arts Center officials announced Tuesday plans to relocate the Arkansas Music Pavilion, known as the AMP, to the Washington County Fairgrounds for the summer 2012 season.
The AMP, which was purchased by Walton Arts Center in February 2011, has been located on the southwest corner of the parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall for seven years. Since that time, negotiations to secure short and long-term leases for the outdoor music pavilion have been ongoing. In August 2011, a change in mall ownership occurred, and though negotiations continued, Walton Arts Center officials had to recently pursue other location options to ensure a full 2012 season for the AMP.
“It’s important to us, and to Northwest Arkansas, that the AMP host a full season of music and entertainment this summer, and our timeline required that we secure a short term lease quickly. We’re delighted to have a signed one-year usage agreement with the Washington County Fairgrounds,” said Peter Lane, Walton Arts Center President/CEO.
“Over the past few years, we’ve added new events and continue to grow the activities at the Washington County Fairgrounds. We are thrilled about this new relationship with Walton Arts Center and the AMP because it really gives us the opportunity to expand our programming and provide entertainment to more people in NWA,” said Kendall Pendergraft, President of the Washington County Fair Board.
The agreement with the Fairgrounds, which was signed on Thursday, January 27, is a one-year agreement with an option for renewal at the end of the term. The Fairgrounds location, which is also the home to the Washington County Fair and a new venue for the annual Bikes, Blues & Barbeque Festival, features several critical components to this project, including ample parking, a sloped lawn, proximity to the I-540 corridor and the necessary infrastructure including access to power and water.
Brian Crowne, General Manager of the AMP says, “With the new space at the Fairgrounds, it’s possible that we could seat more people and have a larger stage than we did at the mall, while being positioned on the grass rather than a parking lot. We’re very excited to be able assure our patrons, sponsors and artists that we will have a full 2012 season.”
Long-Term Renovation Plans
The long-term renovation project for the new AMP, to create a permanent, outdoor music venue and elevate NWA to a major stop on the summer concert circuit, will continue. (for more on the proposed renovations, click here) However, Walton Arts Center officials have also indicated that, due to uncertainties about securing a long-term lease at the Mall, they have begun to explore other sites.
“The long-term renovation plans are moving forward. The goal is still to make the AMP a more permanent, comfortable experience for artists and audiences. Given that the long-term lease with the Mall is not a certainty, we are now exploring other locations,” says Lane.
While discussions will continue with the Mall, Walton Arts Center officials have begun conversations with the City of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville Parks & Recreation offices, as well as private landowners in the area. In addition, the Washington Country Fairgrounds is also being considered as a possible permanent location.
Announcement of the full 2012 AMP season will happen later in the spring, but a date for electronic band Big Gigantic has already been secured, and will kick off the season on April 21. The onsale date for Big Gigantic will be announced next week.