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Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels receives national recognition as top outdoor music venue

Published Monday, April 18, 2022 9:00am
From Lauren Canterberry, Community Impact

Located along the Guadalupe River and 11 miles from the Gruene Historic District, Whitewater Amphitheater has played host to a wide variety of musicians since it opened in 2007.

In 2022, the venue was nominated by the Academy of Country Music as one of the top five outdoor venues of the year, appearing alongside Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, The Wharf Amphitheater in Alabama and more.

According to the ACM, venues are eligible to be nominated if they promoted at least 10 country concerts during the eligibility period, are in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales.

Becky Lynn Street, general manager of venue operations at Whitewater, said nominations are based not just on the concertgoer experience, but also on the experience of artists when they perform at a venue.

“So I've spent all these years streamlining the process back here and just putting an artist first,” Street said. “I don't care if they're the first band of three. ... They all get treated like they're the headliner, and they love coming here for that reason.”

Street has been in the music industry for 20 years and has worked at Whitewater since 2015. She and her team are in the process of several renovation projects ahead of the 2022 season.

The venue, which has a capacity of 5,600, typically hosts shows from late spring to early fall each year before closing temporarily in the winter.

Several key upgrades are the addition of fiber internet and the reconfiguration of the bar area, which Street said will help reduce lines and streamline drink purchases.

Her team is also creating additional office space for tour and venue staff to make space for larger teams as the venue attracts bigger shows and tours.

A new merchandise building and water station will also be added to the biergarten area in an effort to continue streamlining the customer experience, Street said.

“It’s been a big undertaking,” Street said of the renovations. “I had to make my full wishlist preseason and then be like ‘OK, which ones can I accomplish?’”

The venue has 30 shows planned for the 2022 season and is still finalizing the summer lineup, Street said. In 2021, the venue hosted more than 40 shows, almost double the number of concerts held during the 2019 season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Whitewater was closed for 564 days between the end of the 2019 season and the beginning of the 2020 season, Street said.

As the venue gains popularity and books more shows, Street said she hopes to continue finding new ways to use the space and to continue being a venue where artists love to perform.

“I have a lot of plans for the next five years and kind of how to evolve more and build bigger and do more things year-round,” she said. “I want people to leave here, the artists to leave here and just have the best day.”

The winners of the Academy of Country Music Industry Awards are slated to be announced in August.

Read the original article here.