By Tracy Ouellette
On Thursday, Live Nation announced it will not be opening Alpine Valley Music Theatre for the 2017 season.
“It’s an unusual year in that a lot of artists we’ve traditionally hosted are playing in other buildings or not playing at all this season,” said Jon Reens, Live Nation vice-president of marketing for Midwest music.
“Either they’re not coming through Wisconsin or are playing at places like Wrigley Field instead of Alpine Valley,” he continued. “Dave Matthews, the band, isn’t touring this year. Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds are touring together, but they’re playing at Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island in Chicago.”
Reens said Live Nation had been in discussions with other artists to fill the venue’s open spots for the last seven to eight months, but wasn’t able to line up the acts it needed to open the music theater for the 2017 season.
“Whether it was touring schedules, or production design where they can’t fit on our stage, or other things, they were not able to confirm for 2017,” Reens said.
Live nation will use the down season to make some repairs and upgrades to the music theater, including some general maintenance around the facility, repairs to the roof of the main expo building and replacing some of the vending equipment along with some food and beverage equipment.
Reens said Live Nation is committed to re-opening the music venue for the 2018 season and are already focusing on that.
“We have absolutely zero intention of abandoning the facility,” he said. “We are refocusing on 2018 to build a more robust schedule. We had to make a difficult decision to not open for this year, but we’re focusing on 2018.”
Reens said they will be approaching the artists who have traditionally played at Alpine for the 2018 season and are also working on adding new artists to the line up.