White River Amphitheatre
|Address||40601 Auburn Enumclaw Rd|
Auburn, WA 98092-9321
|Location||Muckleshoot Indian Reservation|
|Owner||Muckleshoot Tribal Enterprises|
|Opened||June 14, 2003|
White River Amphitheatre is a Live Nation managed concert venue, located 8 miles (13 km) east of Auburn, Washington and 7 miles (11 km) west of Enumclaw, Washington on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation. It is 22 miles (35 km) northeast of Tacoma and 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Seattle. The capacity is 16,000, with 9,000 covered seats. Completed in 2003, the 98-acre (40 ha) project cost more than $30 million and hosts musical events under an acoustically treated metal roof; it features two 30-by-40-foot (9x12 m) video screens on either side of the stage.
White River Amphitheater opened on June 14, 2003. Home-town stars Heart were the opening act. Although ground had been broken eight years earlier, the project had been delayed due to the environmental impact statement and traffic concerns.
The Army Corps of Engineers signed off on construction in September 2002. In February 2003, the Washington State Department of Transportation "issued a permit allowing access from crowded, two-lane state Route 164."
When it opened, the venue was operated by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, Clear Channel Entertainment and Bill Graham Presents. Today it is operated by Live Nation; they reduced capacity from 20,000 to 16,000 in 2015. To mitigate traffic, the venue offers shuttles from (and to) the Auburn Super Mall, which was renamed The Outlet Collection Seattle for some concerts. Shuttles depart after they are filled, with 42 people per shuttle.
However, the only access to the venue is via SR 164.
Due to complaints about traffic, in 2015 Live Nation cut lawn seating by 4,000, reducing overall capacity from 20,000 to 16,000. Kevin Snyder, Community Development and Public Works Director for the City of Auburn told KOMO that the only real solution to traffic congestion would be expanding SR 164.
At the Pentatonix concert on July 14th, 2018, an estimated crowd of 13,000 people were in attendance (this number was announced from the stage by a band member). The parking lot had a lone LiveNation employee improperly directing traffic at the T-junction where the estimated 3000-4000 vehicles converged into the single exit. As a result people were trapped in the parking lot for an excess of 90 minutes. Police were on-site, but only at the entrance to the road, not further back where they were needed.
At the Chris Stapleton concert the following weekend, July 21, 2018, cars sat blocked in and unable to move from their original parking spots for 90-120 minutes. There were no attendants in the parking lot directing traffic.
Heavy metal band Iron Maiden has also performed here on their last few tours including Eddie Rips Up The World Tour, The Somewhere Back In Time World Tour, and The Final Frontier World Tour. During the show on June 22, 2010, Frontman Bruce Dickinson stated that the pit was the only one at 100% capacity on the tour so far. Iron Maiden performed here during their aMaiden England World Tour on 30 July 2012.
The amphitheatre has played host to music festivals, including Crüe Fest and Crüe Fest 2, Farm Aid, The Gigantour, The Mayhem Festival, Projekt Revolution, Ozzfest, and The Uproar Festival. Since 2010, the KISW Pain in the Grass festival has been held here. It hosted the Vans Warped Tour for two years straight, hosting Warped Tour 2012 and Warped Tour 2013.
- Stout, Gene (14 April 2003). "White River Amphitheatre will be one of a kind locally". Seattle PI. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- Markovich, Matt (19 June 2015). "Large crowds crippling traffic near Auburn concert venue". KOMO TV. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "Pain In The Grass". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "IRON MAIDEN Announces 'Maiden England' North American Tour". Blabbermouth.net. 15 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Rancid at White River". Retrieved 28 August 2016.
- "KISW Pain In The Grass 2010 FAQ". Retrieved 28 August 2016.