Live Nation, a major concert promoter that runs venues throughout metro Atlanta, will take over operations of the Wolf Creek Amphitheater in south Fulton County.
Fulton commissioners agreed Wednesday to authorize negotiations for a contract with Live Nation. The organization was one of three that bid to manage the amphitheater.
“The county staff did its homework and found that Live Nation is the gold standard when it comes to operating and promoting a venue,” Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said in a statement. “We expect the company to attract great acts to perform at Wolf Creek at reasonable prices and to keep the community involved as we move forward.”
The change in management comes weeks after Fulton County released an audit of the amphitheater that showed more than two dozen violations by amphitheater employees of county policies. Those violations included preferential treatment for some vendors and a ticket-printing practice that gave complimentary access to thousands of people, sometimes overcrowding the facility.
The county planned to outsource the amphitheater’s management even before the audit findings were known. But the issues give a new-found urgency to the plan to cede day-to-day control of the facility’s operations.
Area residents have complained in the past that a contract with Live Nation could mean higher ticket prices and paid parking, neither of which they want. In a statement about the agreement, commissioners said they would work to keep ticket prices in the $50 to $75 range for each show. An advisory committee will hold community meetings to hear more about what residents and concertgoers want from the amphitheater.
Live Nation, which also owns Chastain Amphitheater, expects that its manager would also run Wolf Creek, the county said. The 5,300-capacity amphitheater will have at least 20 shows in 2017. Past performers have largely been nostalgia R&B/soul acts; El DeBarge, Doug. E. Fresh, Keith Sweat and Dru Hill performed at the venue this summer.
The company would be responsible for security, communications and marketing, concessions, parking and day-to-day maintenance. Those operations would be paid for out of the amphitheater’s revenues.
Additionally, Fulton hopes to use improvements at Wolf Creek as a way to spur economic development in south Fulton.
Fulton County has hired an outside firm to further investigate employees implicated in the audit.
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