When it comes to concert venues and other showcases for live music, Miami-Dade and Broward are more or less on equal footing with one another. Each county has its share of clubs and venues. Each has world class arts centers, and each has mammoth arenas to host the biggest acts that manage to make their way south.
Now however, Miami-Dade is about to gain a leg up when it comes to offering a site that can not only host headliners, but also provide a place where audiences can appreciate South Florida’s hospitable climate and idyllic environment. Nestled between the expanding skyline of Downtown Miami and the manicured edges of Biscayne Bay, the Bayfront Park Amphitheatre in Bayfront Park is about to find new life as a serious concert venue which will host many of the top acts on the current concert circuit. With seating and sight lines that put concertgoers extraordinarily close to the performers and performances, as well as such perks as a state-of-the-art sound system, wait staff service, and expanded food and beverage facilities, Bayfront Park Amphitheatre makes for an intimate setting in one of the most welcoming sites in South Florida.
For some, this is no news. The venue has hosted concerts by such headliners as Robert Plant, the Moody Blues, and has served as the live stage for Ultra Music Festival. However, having been idle for several months, it was all but forgotten. Now Live Nation — the operator of this and similar facilities in other cities across the United States — have announced plans to reactivate it with a 2015 concert season that will likely place it back in the forefront of the local live music scene.
So why now? We asked that question to Neil Jacobsen, President of Live Nation Florida. “We’ve been involved for several years, but have just not been active,” Jacobsen explains. “For awhile, we were only using it as a rental facility. We love the location, and it’s right next to the bay, with only 2600 seats and an intimate lawn. There is no bad seat in the venue. We just felt that due to the South Florida economy picking up, now was the right time to reintroduce the venue to the public.”
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Jacobsen’s confidence is manifest in the initial list of concerts that have been scheduled so far. They include the Go Hard Miami Festival (May 16), Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional (June 6), BET Award winner and hit single machine Nicki Minaj (July 20), Smashing Pumpkins with Marilyn Manson (July 22), Counting Crows and Citizen Cope (July 30), the Outcry Tour featuring Christian rockers Hillsong United (August 2), Sublime with Rome (August 15), Culture Club with Boy George and the band’s other original members (August 14), and alt-J (October 20).
It’s an impressive roster to say the least, but it’s merely the start of what Jacobsen says will be an ongoing series of top-notch shows. “We are trying to look at a well rounded schedule of all acts,” Jacobsen insists. “We are trying to appeal to all demos because we feel everyone will have a great time at the venue. We hope to have other acts added and have an ongoing schedule with the amphitheatre in the future.”