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Celebrate Virginia Live concert series could get new home
'Redneck Woman' Gretchen Wilson, with Big & Rich, (left) and legends Foreigner perform at Celebrate Virginia Live.
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The Expo Center site also gives concert promoters flexibility in the event of bad weather. Rain wouldn't turn the paved surface into a mud pit, and the show could be moved inside the 115,000-square-foot Expo Center if needed. Ballantine is considering investing in improved acoustics inside the facility. He is also studying plans to build a hotel that attaches to the south side of the facility or is built over the conference center.
Having the concert series could also help Ballantine Management recruit weekend conventions to the Expo Center, as the well-known musical acts that the series brings to the area would provide an entertainment option for convention attendees. The facility might also be able to use the concert venue to complement certain trade shows.
Ballantine said many outdoor concerts are held on paved surfaces. He is still weighing whether to invest in permanent structures for the concert venue. The name of the concert series could be changed based on the wishes of a naming-rights sponsor Ballantine hopes to attract.
Though all the details haven't been worked out, the current plan has Peterson booking the acts and handling other logistics for Ballantine's company. Through four years of running the series, Peterson has learned a good deal about what musical acts bring out the crowds locally. Country acts have been particularly popular.
Peterson said his company is working on opportunities in other markets, but he said he is proud of what Celebrate Virginia Live has become and excited about remaining part of it going forward.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405