Simon Estes Amphitheater to close for two summers, officials say
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Simon Estes Amphitheater, part-time home to downtown Des Moines’ outdoor summer concert series Nitefall on the River, will be closed for summer 2019 and 2020 event season, city officials say.
An anticipated construction project replacing the downtown Locust Street bridge will make the amphitheater — located on the Des Moines River banks between Locust and Walnut streets — unsafe for events, said Des Moines Parks and Recreation director Ben Page.
The closure does not impact booked 2018 Nitefall on the River shows. Bridge construction, an estimated $8 million to $9 million project, is expected to start in August with target completion for summer 2020.
No events will take place during construction at the city-managed amphitheater, Page said.
“There’s not going to be any parking down there,” Page said. “(It’d be a) dusty, dirty mess.
Nitefall isn’t going anywhere, though, said Tim Leach, senior vice president of downtown development for the Des Moines Partnership, which manages Brenton Skating Plaza.
Concerts for the series, now in its 22nd year, will move full-time to the skating plaza, located two blocks north of the amphitheater. In a normal summer, Simon Estes Amphitheater and Brenton Skating Plaza each host Nitefall concerts.
More music news:
- A battle is brewing between Live Nation and Des Moines music advocates
- Country favorite Jason Isbell is headlining a free summer festival in Iowa
- Two concerts added to this summer’s Nitefall on the River lineup
“We don’t think any of these closures are going to affect (Nitefall),” Leach said.
Nitefall on the River kicks off Friday at Simon Estes Amphitheater with Turnpike Troubadours. Booked shows at the venue for summer 2018 include Lake Street Dive on May 18, Arch Allies on May 26 and The Nadas on June 16.
See a full lineup at nitefalldsm.com.