Despite the closure of Irvine’s FivePoint Amphitheatre in October, the Great Park Board of Directors, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, unanimously approved preliminary details for a temporary music venue at the Great Park.

More detailed plans for the interim venue will come back to the Board of Directors in January. Until then, Irvine leaders have agreed to partner with the Pacific Symphony as the resident orchestra for the temporary venue and will accept a $600,000 donation from FivePoint. In exchange, the Pacific Symphony has requested a total of five shows over the summer months, including the Fourth of July. 

While leaders in Irvine expect a permanent amphitheater at Great Park to be operational by 2027, the interim solution would allow the city to host live musical performances at a temporary venue by next summer. The temporary venue would be in operation through the summer 2026 concert season. 

In terms of placement, Pete Carmichael, Great Park Executive Director explained that to mitigate noise complaints from the surrounding neighborhoods, the stage will be facing away from residential areas. 

“The stage points to the northeast, away from the closest residential neighborhood, Truvada,” Carmichael explained. “

In terms of cost over three years, Carmichael explained that staff projected the venue’s operational cost could range between $1 million – $3 million in total subsidy. In the event costs surpass $3 million, the funds would be subsidized from the Great Park fund. 

“We were looking at a business model where we recover as much of the cost as we can from ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage. The initial look shows that over the three years, we could get pretty close to breaking even,” Carmichael explained.  

The yet-to-be-constructed venue will host approximately 6,000 – 8,000 seats and is set to be located on the North Lawn of the Great Park. There are plans to enlist the assistance of a third-party operator, which would manage the facility’s calendar. Promoters would be in charge of booking and promoting acts at the venue.   

While the Board of Directors unanimously supported the idea of a temporary music venue in the Great Park, Chairman Mike Carroll suggested a substitute motion that he hoped would ease the impact on development there.

Specifically, Carroll explained that with the execution of Irvine’s $1 billion Great Park Framework Plan and the Orange County Department of Transportation’s $180 million Orange County Maintenance Facility in the area, residents in the area – specifically in the Truvada community —  could be overwhelmed with development.   

“This does feel like it’s going perhaps a little bit too fast. The idea that maybe we go a little bit slower on something doesn’t seem to me to be the worst thing in the world,” he explained. “I think I’m becoming more and more acutely concerned over the footprint of this happening. And now even more so that it’s been laid on top of Truvada, which already has again, a massive issue laid on top of it with this rail yard facility that we’re here grappling with in Irvine.”

This is a developing story. 

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting Irvine Weekly and our advertisers.