Arkansas Music Pavilion renews lease at Washington County Fairgrounds for 2013

Wilco performs at the Arkansas Music Pavilion at the Washington County Fairgrounds in May.

Photo: Todd Gill, Flyer Staff

The Arkansas Music Pavilion will host at least another season of concerts at the Washington County Fairgrounds, it was announced last week.

The Walton Arts Center-owned amphitheater was moved to the temporary fairgrounds location from its original home at the Northwest Arkansas Mall after failing to secure a longterm lease with the mall’s new management company.

Cake performs at the AMP in April 2012.

Photo: Todd Gill

Officials had planned a $4 million renovation project at the mall, funded partially by a pledge from the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, but abandoned those plans after the amphitheater was forced to move.

Peter Lane, the arts center’s president, said he’s still looking for a permanent home for the venue, but said it was critical to have a temporary location locked in to keep next year’s artist and sponsor opportunities in place.

“As for a permanent site, we have been approached by some cities and mayors about an alternate location,” Lane said. “Once the season winds down, we are going to spend some effort and really take a look at all the opportunities and make sure we cross the T’s and dot the I’s.”

Despite operating in a temporary location, the AMP has already sold $1.2 million in tickets, more than doubling its $460,000 total in 2011, said Tim Vogt, VP of finance for the WAC.

“At this point, we’re set for the fairgrounds,” said Lane. “We’ve had a very good season.”

2012 Arkansas Music Pavilion season

The 2012 AMP season has so far seen performances by Cake, Big Gigantic, Hank Williams Jr., Jamey Johnson, Five Finger Death Punch, Wilco, Luke Bryan, Ted Nugent, Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, Daughtry, Candlebox and Miranda Lambert.

Remaining shows include a UA-sponsored show with Andy Grammer on Oct. 8, Brantley Gilbert on Oct. 12, The Avett Brothers on Oct. 16 and a Dayglow party on Oct. 18.