Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Irvine, California)
Venue during Epicenter 2013
|Address||8808 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
|Opened||August 21, 1981|
(operated by Live Nation)
|Former name(s)||Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (1981-2001)|
|Seating type||Reserved seating, lawn seating|
The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, is a well-known amphitheatre located in Irvine, California. Formerly known as Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the establishment was built in 1980 by the Irvine Company and had 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.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson performed three concerts at amphitheatre on November 7, 8 and 9, 1988 during his Bad Tour. 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 Amphitheatre in 1998. The Grateful Dead have performed at the amphitheatre 15 times from 1983 through 1989.
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/