As the bitter battle over management of the Zoo Amphitheatre played out in public last summer, Oklahoma City music fans may have worried whether the outdoor venue at 2011 N.E. 50th would be open for business this summer.
“We’ve done all kinds of great things out here. We have done a lot of renovations to the stage,” she said, noting that upgrades to the steel now mean it can support up to 60,000 pounds, up from 23,000.
And because the stage now can hold more gear, Colbert said, it will help attract larger acts.
Other improvements include renovated concession stands and hot water in the restrooms.
“We’ve done some renovations with paint, and really a lot of cleanup,” she said. “It was an older facility and it just needed some upgrades,” to the tune of roughly $100,000, she said.
Patrons will notice more than just a new coat of paint. They also can expect a summer concert lineup that Colbert said features “something for everyone.”
It begins July 13 with 1970s soul act Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and special guest Avant. Two festivals follow: Gigantour 2012 on July 16, featuring Megadeth and Black Label Society; and the Uproar Festival on Aug. 27, featuring Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction and Coheed and Cambria.
“We’re just really excited to keep this going. It’s had a great history and we just want to move forward with the same type of positivity the guests have always given us,” Colbert said. “The Zoo Amphitheatre has been loved for many years and we want to continue that. Everybody loves a great outdoor venue where they can sit and listen to the music and enjoy the great Oklahoma weather when it is beautiful. It’s a little bit of freedom, I guess.”
Even without the ownership controversy, which Colbert believes “people who love music don’t care [about] and will continue to come,” the venue has gotten off to a rough start, thanks to the recent spate of severe weather. A concert featuring Hootie & the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker, as well as the Red Dirt at the Zoo Festival, was postponed; a rescheduled date is pending.
Despite such setbacks, Colbert said she remains confident music fans will continue to support the Zoo Amphitheatre.
“Our tagline is, ‘A whole new animal,’” she said. “We’re looking forward to a great season, once we can get it kicked off.”
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