Last weekend, K95 held its annual Countryfest concert at the Snagajob.com Pavilion at Innsbrook. Today, Radio One is having its annual Stone Soul Festival at Brown’s Island.
What you may not know is that both events were originally scheduled for the Classic Amphitheatre at the Richmond Raceway Complex, and both were quietly moved.
Since NASCAR bought the Complex from the State Fair, and waited out the construction of the new fairgrounds at Meadow Farm, there’s been a quiet concern that NASCAR had no use for the Amphitheatre.
The shifts of these two festival events out of the Complex is another piece of evidence for that concern.
So the question may now be when, rather than “if”, NASCAR plows the Ampitheatre under for more parking for the Raceway.
Now I realize NASCAR isn’t a concert promoter. However, there are several in Virginia, any of which would probably put together a solid spring/summer concert series at the Classic if they were allowed to.
Yes, we have the National… Innsbrook… Brown’s Island… and someone will eventually reopen the bankrupt Toad’s Place.
But the Amphitheatre was good for those acts/events that were too large for the small theatres, and too small for the Coliseum. Where will those acts go now? The Charlottesville Pavilion? And if NASCAR does bulldoze the Amphitheatre… do the Fair buildings go next? There are a lot of community events that might never find another venue if that happens…
The Richmond area has lost baseball, hockey, and is poised to lose a concert venue. How many more entertainment options do we have to lose before the Smart Folks realize that all work and nowhere to play makes Richmond a dull, dull community? And that dull communities have a harder time attracting new residents?