With the second season almost at an end, The Sacramento Valley Amphitheater has hosted some of the music industry’s top names. The Sacramento Valley Amphitheater (SVA) is located on Forty-Mile road, just south of Marysville. This venue is a $25 million state-of-the art concert facility serving the greater Sacramento Valley and all of Northern California.
The amphitheater accommodates up to 18,500, 8,500 in seats and 10,000 on the lawn area. Completely outdoors, the facility can only provide a limited concert schedule, due to weather conditions.
Each season usually starts in late May and closes around Halloween. During its two years, SVA has hosted forty-six shows with rock stars such as Marilyn Manson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tom Petty, as well as new comers like Blink 182, Disturbed and Britney Spears.
The amphitheater has also hosted major concert tours such as the Nickelodeon’s “All That Music and More Festival,” the “Lloyd’s Barbeque and Blues Festival featuring BB King” as well as “Ozzfest.”
Yuba College student Nicole Wilson of Marysville, who went to “Ozzfest 2000” said, “It was a great show. Everything seemed to go smoothly, although it was very hot outside that day.”
During the past season, the SVA has sponsored two major radio shows, “KWOD 106.5’s Really Big Show” and “98 Rock’s Jambo Freakin’ Ree.” SVA General Manager Steven Feener said, “We really like having festival shows. It brings in a lot more people.”
The design itself is similar to Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheater, a Bill Graham Presents venue. Feener said, “Sacramento Valley Amphitheater was designed to be round so there is more space to move around in, and to make it seem a lot less crowded.”
Marysville was chosen as the site for the amphitheater because it is centrally located in the Sacramento Valley, allowing quicker access for people from surrounding cities and towns like Chico, Redding and Grass Valley.
“Just like Shoreline, we wanted to pick an area that would be large enough to hold all these people and not worry about parking cars in major neighborhoods. This seemed like an ideal location, and the county was one of the major groups who propositioned us. Also we feel that, just like Shoreline, this area is going to grow rapidly,” stated Feener.
The amphitheater boasts around 300 to 500 employees who work each season. College students are able to make some extra money while working shows at SVA between semesters.
“The Amphitheater is a great work opportunity for students. It doesn’t monopolize time, and workers can experience a wide range of music,” said student Eliza Skeffington who works in guest services.
The SVA has two stages for bands. One stage, sponsored by Levi’s, allows new bands to play at major events to expose more people to their music. Although most of the main artists that headline the show pick the bands to play on the Levi stage with them, sometimes the company, which owns the SVA, picks them. This is a good opportunity for local bands to get a break. For a chance to play on the Levi stage at a show, one must send a demo tape and information regarding the band to the Bill Graham Presents office in San Francisco. The amphitheater hopes eventually to showcase local musicians, but also hopes that locals will use the facility for other events where a large group of people may gather.
“We would love to see people using the venue for things like school graduations, corporate parties and picnics, or even private concerts,” said Feener.
With ticket sales up 40 percent from last year, it seems that the SVA is here to stay.
The amphitheater hopes to improve on concession sales by adding more food choices in the future. The SVA also hopes to lay gravel for more parking areas. Prices vary from concert to concert, but anyone may purchase season tickets and box seats. Box seats range from $14, 500 to $26,000 per season, while season tickets start at $3000 and can run as high as $4000 dollars.
While parking at the amphitheater is free for most shows, patrons should check their show ticket for whether or not parking is included in the ticket price.
Those interested in visiting SVA should call the box office or visit www.sacvalleyamp.com to verify policies on cameras, bags and food and drink containers.