Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Oak Mountain Amphitheater is a 12,000-seat live concert venue located at 1000 Amphitheater Road in Pelham near Oak Mountain State Park owned by Live Nation, Inc. It is said to be the largest outdoor music venue in Alabama and is located adjacent to the Pelham Civic Complex.
The amphitheater opened in 1986 by Tony Ruffino's New Era Promotions with 4,500 permanent seats and a large grassy general admission seating area. Jeanie Atkins was hired as the first staff member, answering phones on site.
In 1997, the lawn was expanded by 40% and a new smaller venue to the west of the main stage, named the HealthSouth Plaza, was opened. In 1999, New Era removed the general admission lawn and added 6,000 more seats. Another renovation in 2009, was undertaken at a cost of $200,000.
In 2000, New Era was bought by SFX, which was then owner of several music venues across the country. SFX was quickly acquired by Clear Channel Communications, and is now owned by Clear Channel's Live Nation, based in Los Angeles, California. Live Nation sold the naming rights of the amphitheatre (and several other venues across the country) to Verizon Wireless in 2004, making the facility's name Verizon Wireless Music Center. That deal expired in 2012.
John Mayer's 2003 album "Any Given Thursday" was recorded live at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater on September 12, 2002. The complex also hosts the current rendition of the Alabama State Fair each September.
- Ryan, Shawn (April 11, 1997) "New Era removated Oak Mountain Amphitheatre reinventing itself for audience." The Birmingham News
- Nicholson, Gilbert (June 23, 2000) "Concert giant buys New Era, Oak Mountain." Birmingham Business Journal
- Colurso, Mary. (April 29, 2004). "Oak Mountain Theater renamed." The Birmingham News
- Bryant, Joseph D. (June 4, 2008) "Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford blasts carnival promoter over state fair comments." The Birmingham News
- Poe, Ryan (February 10, 2012) "Verizon drops Oak Mountain Amphitheatre sponsorship." Birmingham Business Journal
- Verizon Wireless Music Center at LiveNation.com