Smokey Robinson, Brad Paisley To Kick Off $100 Million Arkansas Music Initiative

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Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Smokey Robinson, Brad Paisley and ZZ Top are among the big names scheduled to appear as part of a star-studded five-day concert to launch the new Murphy Arts District in the Arkansas city of El Dorado in September 2017.

The concerts are part of a $100 million revitalization of El Dorado, which is set to include a new outdoor Ampitheatre and a more intimate indoor venue, the Griffin Hall. These new venues are being completed in a six-block area of the city which is in the process of being transformed. The five-day run of concerts begin on 27 September 2017 and other notable acts who have already been confirmed include Migos, X Ambassadors, Train, Ludacris and Lyle Lovett.

El Dorado enjoyed a heyday during the 1920s as an oil boomtown, but it can’t boast of the music history of its regional neighbours such as Memphis, New Orleans or Muscle Shoals in Alabama. However, the new multi-million initiative – which is led by former Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame President Terry Stewart and former House Of Blues executive Dan Smith – is aimed and putting the city squarely on the music map.

“Many people think I’m ‘MAD’ when I tell them about the El Dorado project”, Stewart said in a press statement. “But it’s going to be the most important work of my career when one considers the lives that will be changed by the economic redevelopment and cultural infusion we are working to achieve.”

Stewart and Smith’s plans for the Murphy Arts District project include the completion of an outdoor Ampitheatre with a capacity to hold around 8,000 people, including VIP seating for 1,200 patrons. The venue will play host to outdoor films, large concerts and multi-day music festivals with four to five events each year. Also coming on stream is Griffin Hall, located behind the Griffin restaurant, will also hold around 2,000 people and this venue allows for full size concerts, stage presentations and a variety of performances.

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