Concept: The New Amphitheater

Outdoor amphitheater design has remained largely unchanged for decades despite a dramatically shifting landscape in concert experiences. We were engaged to reconceive the concert venue for a site located just outside a major metropolitan area. The Hybrid Amphitheater takes advantage of technical requirements and formal opportunities to elevate the experience for fan, promoter, and musician.

The basic layout, consisting of a proscenium stage, with fixed covered seating, and a large general admission lawn area radiating outward, poses logistical and experiential constraints that limit performance opportunities. The typical site layout, which puts concessions, bathrooms and other amenities around the periphery means that fans miss large portions of the performance, and artists see empty seats as fans use these amenities.

The Hybrid Amphitheater takes advantage of a higher seating rake to put amenities underneath the seating. In addition to placing bathrooms and concessions underneath the seats for quick access, VIP rooms and fan suites are carved out of this space. This allows premium fan experiences to occur at locations other than the floor in front of the stage and provides added capacity to an otherwise unused space.

Flexibility was a major request for the entire amphitheater. Typical amphitheaters can have a limited number of shows throughout the year depending on the local climate. The Hybrid Amphitheater has large sliding panels that can enclose the fixed seating areas allowing for year round concerts. The geometry of the sliding panels allows for the incorporation of large amenity plazas inside the conditioned space. These areas, usually found far from the seating, now provide additional bar and concession space that maintains stage views. The seating wraps around the stage to allow for an arena configuration which can easily be screened off when not in use.

The Hybrid Amphitheater creates a flexible venue that elevates the fan’s experience, provides additional revenue for the promoter, and allows the configuration to be tailored to individual artists’ desires.