Arkansas Music Pavilion approved for two more years at fairgrounds

AMP General Manager Brian Crowne speaks to the Planning Commission Monday

Fayetteville Government Channel

The Arkansas Music Pavilion can hold concerts at the Washington County Fairgrounds through 2014.

Fayetteville planning commissioners on Monday unanimously approved an extension of the AMP’s conditional use permit for the next two seasons.

Commissioners last month tabled the request to allow more time for residents to comment on any potential noise concerns associated with the venue, but only one resident showed up to voice opposition Monday night.

The fairgrounds have been a temporary home for the venue since negotiations to construct a permanent facility in the parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall fell through last January.

Brian Crowne, general manager for the venue, said he plans to operate the AMP the fairgrounds for at least the 2013 season, and possibly through 2014 while the search for a permanent home continues.

“We have been actively and aggressively pursuing having a permanent location,” Crowne said. “We don’t plan on being in a temporary setup any longer than we have to.”

Crowne told the commission he has personally driven around Fayetteville to look at every parking lot or “field next to a hill” in an effort to find a permanent home for the venue.

“We’ve looked at everything, including Southpass, and the fairgrounds,” he said. “We would consider the fairgrounds as a permanent location, but that’s not what’s on the table currently.”

As part of the permit process, AMP officials requested that patrons be allowed to drive on nearby Meadow Valley Trail as a secondary entry and exit point from Interstate 540. That request was amended to only allow vehicles on the trail when concerts end, usually around 11 p.m.

“We felt like that was a good compromise,” said Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator. “It would be a time when the trail is less used.”

As a result, Walton Arts Center CEO Peter Lane said this week that AMP officials may have to look into possible alternate parking options including shuttles.

The Arkansas Music Pavilion kicks off its 2013 season on April 19 with country music group Little Big Town.