Classic Amphitheatre at Strawberry Hill

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The Classic Amphitheater
Classic Amphitheater
The Classic Amphitheater.png
Location Richmond, Virginia
Coordinates 37°35′24″N 77°25′03″W / 37.59000°N 77.41750°W / 37.59000; -77.41750Coordinates: 37°35′24″N 77°25′03″W / 37.59000°N 77.41750°W / 37.59000; -77.41750
Owner International Speedway Corporation
Operator International Speedway Corporation
AEG Live (concert booking)
Type Outdoor amphitheatre
Seating type reserved, lawn
Capacity 6,000
Opened 1991

The Classic Amphitheater is a 6,000-seat outdoor concert venue located in Richmond, Virginia that is used primarily for music performances. It is adjacent to the Richmond International Raceway.


Prior to the opening of the amphitheatre in 1991, the Richmond area had seen a major decline in major music acts at its indoor arena, Richmond Coliseum. When the amphitheatre opened, seasons were packed with A-list music acts that Richmond had not seen in several years. For the first few years of its operation, the summer concert series was titled the "Budweiser Concert Series," sponsored by Budweiser. Since many summer concert tours were mounted solely for outdoor venues, Richmond was the only Virginia stop on the tour of many artists on their summer itineraries, making it a destination venue for people from all over the state. When the larger outdoor venues in Manassas and Virginia Beach were built, starting in 1995, with substantially larger capacities, the Classic Amphitheatre noticed a steady decline in the quality of shows promoters were able to book there. Although it was still able to secure several A-list acts each season, more and more acts were again skipping Richmond for the larger venues. In its last official season, in 1999, only one act was booked that summer -- Hootie & the Blowfish. After that season, the promoter pulled out of the venue and the owners were not able to attract the interest of any other promoters. During the summer of 2013, the venue resumed presenting summer concerts.[1]

Though seen as state-of-the-art at the time of its opening, in comparison to similar contemporary amphitheatres, the Classic Amphitheatre had several downfalls. Sales and consumption of alcohol was restricted to a gated-off area, away from the seating; no alcohol could be taken into the seating areas. Though it had several corporate sponsorships, the venue did not have formal box-seating or suites for its sponsors—a major component of contemporary amphitheatres. The lawn seating area was smaller than the fixed seating area—at most contemporary amphitheatres, the festival lawn seating is often twice the size (or larger) of the fixed seating.

On November 28, 2016, Richmond International Raceway and AEG Live announced an exclusive booking agreement for The Classic Amphitheater at the Richmond Raceway Complex. It will provide a series of concerts in the region for the 2017 season.[2]


See also[edit]