From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: There was a time when Alpine Valley Music Theatre was among the most elite music venues in the nation.
In its prime in 1989, the East Troy amphitheater hosted some of the biggest acts in the world: the Rolling Stones and the Who and the Grateful Dead and Metallica. The Dead played 20 shows there in the ’80s, and Pearl Jam brought its 20th-anniversary festival to Alpine in 2011.
But for its 40th anniversary year this summer, the 27,100-capacity Alpine Valley won’t host a single concert. It will be closed for an entire season for the first time in its history.
Jon Reens, vice president of marketing for Midwest music for Live Nation, which manages Alpine, said the usual acts that swing through Alpine chose to play different venues instead.
“We started in the middle of 2016 working on the 2017 calendar. We went and discussed with a multitude of artists about playing the building for the first time in their careers, and it was met with universal acclaim,” Reens said. “It just didn’t work out. Artists wanted to play different venues. There was a definite desire with some of the artists to play stadiums. And in some cases, the production didn’t fit in the building.”
Wrigley Field also got into the concert business in 2005, and will have its busiest season yet this summer. Among the 10 headliners: Alpine regulars Zac Brown Band (which also booked a Summerfest show for its 50th season) and Jimmy Buffett. Dead & Company, the Grateful Dead spinoff that played Alpine last summer, also opted for the Friendly Confines.