By Tori Linville
The Tuscaloosa Amphitheater’s 2015 lineup features legends and newcomers as the summer season moves into the south. Minutes away from The Black Warrior River and The University of Alabama, the amphitheater is the largest outdoor theater in West Alabama, according to the venue’s website. And this year, the amphitheater will be the temporary home for the likes of Rod Stewart, The Dave Matthews Band, and Phish - all before August 4.
Headliners announced so far this season include The Dave Matthews Band, Steve Miller Band, Rod Stewart, and Phish. And on Sunday, May 10, legendary rocker John Fogerty took the stage in T-Town as part of his “1969” tour.
Christy Bobo, manager for the city of Tuscaloosa’s arts and entertainment department, said she spends her day organizing events for the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater and the Tuscaloosa River Market.
In partnership with Red Mountain Entertainment, Tuscaloosa plans in advance and negotiates each show with careful consideration, Bobo said.
“Our mayor, Walt Maddox, works closely with Red Mountain Entertainment,” she said. “Thank your local city council member for their hard work as well. The fruits of our successful lineup are planned well in advance, and so many different factors affect these negotiations.”
The amphitheater will host two summer music festivals in the upcoming months. The Old School Summer Fest will host popular bands like Blackstreet, SWV, Tony Toni Tone, Biz Markie and more on June 5.
The Heritage Music Festival on June 20 will include Con Funk Shun, Willie Clayton, and more. Local and regional performers will be highlighted at a gospel tent area, Bobo said. Those planning to attend should arrive at 2 p.m. for the gate opening, with the show to start at 3 p.m.
Normally known for garnering popular country music acts, such as Jake Owen and Miranda Lambert, the amphitheater has stepped up its variety for the summer. The 7,470-seat outdoor entertainment facility will appeal to all types of individuals through the upcoming season, including rock fans.
“We know that there are many places that a patron could choose to spend their extra money for family entertainment. We strive to provide a beautiful facility as well as top customer service experiences from the time that you enter the front gates until a patron goes home,” Bobo said. “We hope to continue to improve customer relations through implementation of new technology as well as audio visual messaging throughout shows to inform guests of options available to them.”
One aspect Bobo said she is most excited about is a new communications system that was recently implemented. New screens, audio visual updates, and a mobile app have been incorporated into the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater experience.
“Thanks to help from Facilities Director Clif Penick and with the input of many others, we have hit the ground running with new screens and audio visual updates that will keep patrons informed in the case of inclement weather or emergency situations,” she said. “Red Mountain Entertainment has also been involved with this effort – you will find a new app when you arrive for shows in the near future that will be instrumental in pushing notifications to your smart phones or devices. “
Tuscaloosa Amphitheater 2015 Schedule
May 10: John Fogerty
June 3: Dave Matthews Band
June 5: Old School Summer Fest with Blackstreet, SWV, Tony Toni Tone, Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane
June 7: Steve Miller Band with .38 Special
June 20: Tuscaloosa Heritage Music Festival with Con Funk Shun, Willie Clayton and more
July 16: Rod Stewart
Aug. 4: Phish
Photo: Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
For information on ticket pricing and show times, visit tuscaloosaamphitheater.com.
John Fogerty Photo: Jeff Perrigin