Opinion: Great Park Residents Council Request For Irvine to Reject Live Nation Amphitheater Deal
Last Thursday, Irvine City Manager Oliver Chi gave a presentation to a group of concerned neighbors at the Great Park. We were informed that the Construction, Design, and Operating Agreement with Live Nation, approved by City Council on September 27th, 2022, was rejected by Live Nation and made a counteroffer with lopsided terms to the detriment of the City. It is clear the city rejects the counteroffer. The new proposal by Live Nation exacerbates the Great Park neighbors’ concerns with noise impact, traffic, parking, cost, financial benefit, and overall benefit to Irvine neighbors. We were also informed that a recent study to consider an alternative smaller amphitheater proved to be a better and more viable solution regarding the above concerns. Here are direct excepts from the presentation made by City staff that raise the alarm bells for Great Park residents:
- To date, Live Nation is not willing to agree to any of the City’s proposed changes related to cost, noise, traffic or size.
- Regarding hours of operation, Live Nation is standing firm on 11 pm every day of the week.
- A new city sound study has identified new heightened noise impact levels that Live Nation has not agreed to address
- City sound consultants identified noise impacts beyond all possible physical mitigation.
A recently conducted study by the city into a reduced-sized amphitheater (6,000-8,000 seats) concludes the following:
- Reduced size amphitheater creates a smaller footprint and reduced parking needs
- Ability to install a house speaker system
- Different operating models to prioritize community interests
- Local control of operations (hours, sound levels, ect)
- Reduced sized amphitheater creates 40-60 percent less vehicle traffic
- The medium-sized amphitheater is commercially viable
- In 2021, 78 percent of the top 200 touring amphitheater performers played to audiences of less than 10,000 people
- Since the current FivePoint amphitheater opened, the facility has averaged less than 9,000 tickets per event
- Clearly, a smaller Amphitheater is the right decision for Great Park. Furthermore, a partnership with Live Nation, which is mired in anti-trust, safety, and security investigations, does not align with Irvine’s reputation as one of the best suburbs to live, work and play in.
Clearly, a smaller amphitheater is the right decision for the Great Park. Furthermore, a partnership with Live Nation, which is mired in anti-trust, safety, and security investigations, does not align with Irvine’s reputation as one of the best suburbs to live, work and play in.
This Tuesday’s City Council meeting proves to be an important day for the development of the Great Park. We have been made aware that public relations efforts and proxies working on behalf of Live Nation are trying to convince, persuade, misinform, and influence decisions directly favoring their business interests. With neighbors and City staff convinced that the smaller alternative without Live Nation is more viable, I, along with the entire Great Park Residents Council, implore Irvine City Council to reject Live Nation as your partner in providing a music venue at the Great park.
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