Live Nation to open Echo Beach, a new 4,000-person venue in Toronto
Live Nation, one of the largest ticket operators and concert promoters in the world, is opening a new 4,000-person venue in Toronto this summer. The company—which has exclusive deals with both Jay-Z and Madonna, and acquired the House of Blues venue franchise in 2006— will open Echo Beach near the Molson Amphitheatre at Ontario Place, according to Eye Weekly. The new venue will host its first concert on June 3 and the inaugural performance will feature Swedish electro-pop singer Robyn, with support from opening acts Natalia Kills and Toronto’s own Diamond Rings.
Live Nation has managed to incorporate some local music history into the venture by naming the new venue after a song by Toronto based new-wavers Martha and the Muffins. The space itself is a converted volleyball court, although there’s still no word on whether the court’s sand will be incorporated into the venue (judging by the venue’s name, it seems like a possibility).
Toronto’s audiophiles will also experience a shift in scale with this new venture. Currently, Toronto’s venues are divided between small-scale and large-scale, with few options in between: Phoenix Concert Theatre has a capacity of roughly 1,000, Kool Haus holds 2,000, Sound Academy maxes out at 2,500, Massey Hall can fit 2,700 and the Molson Amphitheatre and Air Canada Centre could sell out Britney Spears comeback tours with their capacities of 16,000 and 19,800 respectively. While Echo Beach doesn’t come close to filling the 13,500 person gap between the city’s current mid-sized and large-scale entertainment platforms, we think it presents a reasonable alternative for show goers. It also means fewer shows at the Sound Academy, which is probably something to be celebrated.
• Echo Beach: Toronto’s new outdoor concert venue [Eye Weekly]