Osage Creek Performing Arts Center approved by planning commission

The new Osage Creek Performing Arts Center cleared its final legislative hurdle this week when the Benton County Planning Commission approved their long-term use plan at a meeting on Wednesday night.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the Osage Creek Arts Center Long Term Use and Large Scale Development Plan without modifications or restrictions, said Bert Piraino, VP of Operations for Osage Creek.

“We are so happy to be moving forward with this,” said Piraino. “Northwest Arkansas has no idea what we’ve got in store for them.”

The new amphitheater and festival facility will be located on an 856-acre patch of land along Logan Cave Road between Tontitown and Siloam Springs. The site is 22.5 miles from Dickson St., and just 12 miles from XNA Regional Airport.

We talked to Piraino and others back in December, and apparently, the project is still on track.

According to Piraino, the bidding process for a general contractor is ongoing, but he hopes that construction of the new amphitheater will begin as early as late February.

He also said that Osage Creek expects to begin announcing artists on or around Feb. 3, 2010, and though the full project won’t be completed until the Spring of 2011, there will be a few shows at the new site before the full facility is constructed, the first of which expected on July 23, 24, and 25 of this year.

Piraino said that he is waiting for a particular artist to finalize their summer touring plans before he can make any announcement.

Speculation, and demand for Phish are rampant on their Facebook page, but nothing is official according to Piraino.

All indications, though, are that Northwest Arkansas will indeed be getting the large concert venue of its dreams. Now, who do you want to see play at it?

Artist rendering of the Osage Creek Performing Arts Center.