The Irvine City Council has endorsed a preliminary plan to create a temporary outdoor music venue in the Great Park — to bridge the gap in live music in Irvine until a permanent amphitheater is completed in 2027.
Under the preliminary plan, a temporary venue with a capacity of about 6,000 would be installed on the North Lawn Open Space area at the Great Park. The venue would be programmed for concerts in the spring and summer, beginning in 2024. The Pacific Symphony would present a half-dozen of those concerts as the venue’s resident orchestra.
Assistant City Manager Pete Carmichael told the Council that the plan could possibly be a break-even proposition for the City, but if there is a shortfall in revenue, the existing Great Park Fund would cover it.
The Council voted unanimously to direct City staff to bring back a final plan that can be voted on in January 2024.
Issues such as noise control, parking, financing and securing an operator for the venue will be addressed by that time, said City Manager Oliver Chi. “We’ve done enough work to say that this is feasible,” said Chi. “Now we need to start the detailed analysis, do the work … and harmonize all the different interests.”
Among those interests are the residents of the Travata community, which is nearest the North Lawn site. One Travata resident spoke in opposition to putting the temporary music venue on the North Lawn, citing traffic and aesthetic concerns.
Councilmember Larry Agran acknowledged there are unanswered questions but supported giving staff the time and direction to move ahead toward a final plan.
“We have homeowner interests here that are obviously critically important,” said Agran. “We have Sports Committee interests here that are very important as well. We have all kinds of concerns about parking and quality of life. … In early 2024, it will be clear to us whether we have a solution that works for everybody. I think we will.”
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