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Orion Amphitheater makes grand opening with First Waltz festival

Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:42 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Fans crowded into the brand new Orion Amphitheater for its inaugural First Waltz festival featuring several performers with strong ties to the Tennessee Valley.

Emmylou Harris, John Paul White and Mavis Staples are just some of the performers coming to Huntsville this weekend. Fans came from far and wide to see these performances. Some people come in as far as the Netherlands, Canada and California.

The whole production has been in the works for years now.

“It was planned from the beginning you know we partnered with the city many years ago to bring a world-class amphitheater to this area of Huntsville (MidCity District} so we can continue to grow,” said Mid City District Director of Operations Jamie Munoz. “But it’s always been a part of the culture and what we’ve wanted to do.”

Munoz says this is part of a bigger plan to make Mid-City an updated and walkable district.

“At the end of the project, you’ll have over 2,000 living units right here on MidCity and it’ll be a complete walking district and that’s always been the plan with landscape with everything that goes through,” said Munoz. “You’ll have soft scapes throughout the entire project that will be just beautiful.”

Huntsville leaders say they want to be ahead of the growth happening in the area and provide more entertainment opportunities for young and old workers.

“As we try to recruit talent to come work for our companies we have to provide for them live, work, play type of environments,” said Jeff Gronberg, the CEO of Decibel Research.

Leaders also want to amp up the music scene in Huntsville.

“As we grow as a music city, the music economy grows with it and then we will get young kids who never thought they would be able to stay in Huntsville, Alabama to be in the music industry,” said the General Manager of the Amphitheater, Ryan Murphy.

“We were looking at the schedule last night seeing all the events coming up and I’m such a huge Chris Stapleton fan for example,” said Michael Rozumalski, the General Manager of The Camp. “So just to know someone like that is coming into our district: Chris Stapleton, The Black Crows, The Black Keys it’s kind of mind-blowing to see where it’s started and where it’s at now when we see those kinds of names coming in here not just for us but the community it’s so cool.”

The Orion Amphitheater is expecting a large turnout and they say they can handle it. They have 8,000 seats in this classically designed amphitheater and some fans have high expectations for the experience.

“It reminds me of the Hollywood Bowl,” said concert-goer Francesca Braniger. “I love that something that the venue group has been pushing is that there’s no bad seat in the house so no matter, if you’re in the front or way in the back everyone, is gonna be a part of the concert experience and that’s what we love. We love the music, we love the energy it brings us.”

Click here to buy tickets and see the First Waltz lineup.

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