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ST. AUGUSTINE AMPHITHEATRE NAMED ONE OF WORLD’S TOP 100 AMPHITHEATRES

National concert industry publication Pollstar has named the St. Augustine Amphitheatre #43 on its list of the hundred top St. Augustine AmphitheatreAmphitheatre Venues Worldwide, based on ticket sales reported to Pollstar for shows played between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is joined on the list by prestigious venues worldwide including Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Filene Center at Wolf Trap and the Hollywood Bowl among others.

2012 was a remarkable year for the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, in many different ways. Ticket sales for the St. Augustine Amphitheatre reached an all time high of over 84,000 tickets. This statistic includes ticketed concert events and does not count the several community events that the Amphitheatre hosted including the six week long Winter Wonderland, Taste of St. Augustine, VELOfest, The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba event, Back to School Beach Fest or the multiple high school and college graduations held at the Amphitheatre.

The Amphitheatre’s robust season started out at the beginning of March with a sold out crowd for Hank Williams, Jr. The month of March was extremely busy and high profile, also hosting the Seussical the Musical performances for elementary school children presented by the Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, the Experience Hendrix Tour, The Moody Blues, a speech by President Bill Clinton, legendary crooner Tony Bennett, and John Hiatt and Lyle Lovett. President Clinton’s appearance in St. Augustine was a monumental occasion, as he spoke on the topic of “Embracing Our Common Humanity,” and then followed up with a Q&A session—answering questions submitted from members of our community. Another important community element to his speaking engagement was the “Leaders of the Future” program, facilitated by the Cultural Events Division and the St. Johns County Board of Education. In this program, high school students were nominated by their principal, based on their ability to demonstrate exceptional community involvement, character, and leadership both inside and outside of the classroom setting. Selected students then submitted an application and an essay, which was reviewed by a group of influential community leaders. The winners of the essay contest were awarded a private meet and greet, and photo opportunity with the President.

April hosted performances by country legend Martina McBride and rock band Rise Against, while also introducing the beginning of festival and special event season with cycling festival VELOFest, Epic’s Taste of St. Augustine and Flagler College’s Spring Graduation ceremony all being held at the Amphitheatre.

May started off with a major event—the Beach Boy’s 50th Anniversary Reunion tour. St. Augustine was chosen from among many prestigious venues as the filming location for a concert special centered around the band’s reunion; the first time in 25 years that all of the surviving band members joined together to tour. The “Live from the St. Augustine Amphitheatre” footage was part of the Beach Boys special, nationally syndicated and aired on PBS as part of the new series entitled “Front Row Center” presented by WNET in New York. May also invited pop band The Fray, indie band Wilco, The Gamble Rogers Folk Festival and the first of many area high school graduations.

ZZ Top, 3 Doors Down and Gretchen Wilson kicked off the month of June and the official beginning of the summer concert season with a high energy show, while Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band closed out the month of June. July immediately was a success with a nearly sold out crowd for Boston, followed by 311 & Slightly Stoopid, The Dukes of September (Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, and Boz Scaggs) and Yes & Procol Harum. August began with the community focused Back 2 School Beach Fest, and also brought popular acts Rebelution, The Fresh Beat Band and Sublime.

A sold out concert for pop band Train kicked off the busy month of September, followed by back to back concerts by country sensation Brantley Gilbert—the first multiple night stand by an artist in Amphitheatre history. The month picked up steam by hosting a plethora of music icons including Ian Anderson, Blondie and Devo, Stevie Nicks, and Joe Cocker. October had two concert events featuring O.A.R and R&B chanteuse Jill Scott.

One of our most popular events this year, and quick to sell out was Heart, in the beginning of November. Then in a partnership with the University of Florida Performing Arts, the Cultural Events Division and several community partners presented a free concert as a gift to the community—a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. This show was part of their first US tour, and one of only three performances in the state of Florida. The Amphitheatre’s 2012 concert season ended with a full crowd for Buddy Guy and Jonny Lang. Then the transformation to Winter Wonderland began, which introduced a new layout and several new attractions.

The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is owned and operated by the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, under the leadership of General Manager Ryan Murphy. Scheduled events for the 2013 season include Daryl Hall and John Oates, Matchbox 20, Alan Jackson, Yo Gabba Gabba, Chicago , with more to be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.staugamphitheatre.com or www.findmytix.com. The Amphitheatre Box Office may also be reached at (904) 209 – 0367.
CONTACT:  Natacha McLeod, Marketing and Community Relations Manager, nmcleod@sjcfl.us, (904) 209-3751

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