Pop crooner Tony Bennett, bluesman B.B. King and singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt are among the high-profile acts slated to perform this summer at the new Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles, organizers announced Monday.
Progressive rock band Yes will kick off the amphitheater’s inaugural season July 6, according to Simone Michel, director of customer relations and marketing at Vina Robles Winery & Vineyards. A soft opening is planned for the end of June, she said.
For bluegrass and country aficionados, there’s Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Reggae fans can look forward to Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse and Michael Franti & Spearhead.
“There’s a really broad range” of artists, Michel said.
Tickets for all acts go on sale this Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m.
Located on the grounds of Vina Robles Winery & Vineyards, the 3,300-seat amphitheater will become San Luis Obispo County’s third-largest entertainment venue when it opens in July.
The hillside amphitheater, which has been under construction at the 25-acre winery since last year, will feature a combination of tiered reserve seats, VIP boxes and general admission lawn seating around a 60-foot-by-40-foot stage. It will be staffed by up to 200 part-time workers, Michel said.
According to Michel, amphitheater general manager Tim Reed first recognized the need for a full-time outdoor performing venue in the Paso Robles wine country in 1993. Planning for the amphitheater started in late 2009 and was in full swing by January 2010.
“The Central Coast is really the last undeveloped promotional territory for mainstream concert events,” Michel said. “An outdoor amphitheater (of this scale) has been needed for a long time to fill a niche in our market.”
By offering big-name acts during a concert season that will typically run May through November, Vina Robles hopes to attract music lovers from as far away as Bakersfield, Fresno, Monterey, San Jose and Santa Barbara, she said, noting that Vina Robles already offers free biweekly concerts at its Hospitality Center.
The largest entertainment venue in San Luis Obispo County remains the Paso Robles Event Center’s Chumash Grandstand Arena, which seats 14,661.
Other local, large-capacity venues include the Cal Poly Recreation Center at 3,400 seats; the Avila Beach Golf Resort and Pozo Saloon, at approximately 3,000 each; and the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, at 2,400 seats.
Here’s the full season lineup for Vina Robles Amphitheatre. Ticket prices are in parentheses; all tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.