Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Irvine, California)
Venue during Epicenter 2013
|Former names||Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (2000-2014)|
|Address||8808 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
|Seating type||Reserved seating, lawn seating|
|Opened||August 21, 1981|
Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (formerly known as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre) is an amphitheatre located in Irvine, California. The establishment was built in 1980 by the Irvine Company and it opened in 1981. It is the largest amphitheatre in Orange County.
The amphitheater is famous for hosting popular music festivals, which includes; Uproar Festival, Area2 Festival, Gigantour, Projekt Revolution, Lollapalooza and Lilith Fair. A benefit concert for the recently deceased Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell, dubbed "When the Angels Sing", was held on May 6, 2000. On the bill were The Offspring, Pennywise, X, T.S.O.L. and Social Distortion. The benefit concert also marked Social Distortion's first show with Danell's permanent replacement Jonny "2 Bags" Wickersham. Ozzy Osbourne recorded a performance at the venue on June 12, 1982, for home video release, though it has been available only in Japan to this point. Speak of the Devil was released on DVD on July 17, 2012 from Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Oingo Boingo would play its annual Halloween concerts here from 1986 through 1991, and one final time in 1993, before moving the remaining 1994 and 1995 shows to Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Live Nation (formerly SFX Entertainment) bought the lease on the Amphitheatre in 1998.
The Grateful Dead have performed at the amphitheatre 15 times from 1983 through 1989.
The Amphitheatre was renamed to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in April 2000. The 7 year sponsorship deal between Verizon Wireless and SFX Entertainment, then owner of the amphitheatre, was a multimillion-dollar contract. Verizon renewed this contract for another 7 years, extending it to 2014. It did not opt to renew a second time and the name reverted to its original "Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre" in 2015.
The Amphitheatre's land lease expires in 2017. The Irvine Company is not planning to renew it, but to instead build apartment buildings on the terrain, like with nearby water park Wild Rivers, closed in 2011. The city of Irvine is considering a replacement amphitheatre at the Orange County Great Park.
- Chute, James (February 28, 1988). "Finale for a conductor; Pacific Symphony's ambition finally outgrew Keith Clark". The Orange County Register.
- Ozzy Osbourne’s 1982 ‘Speak of the Devil’ Concert Film Headed to DVD http://ultimateclassicrock.com/ozzy-osbourne-speak-of-the-devil-dvd/
- "Irvine Meadows Hoisting New Signs: It's a Name Change". April 20, 2000.