Riverfront Amphitheater in Little Rock. (Photo: Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Weather brought a swift end to the concert season at the River Market Amphitheater, but the skies are parting with hopes of brighter days.
The next time Riverfest Amphitheater opens, jubilant songs will ring out.
"We expect this thing to be up and ready to go by Easter Sunrise service, which is our first really big event," says Diana McClung, River Market Director of Operations.
In early September a storm system damaged the roof right in the middle of a concert.
"The Brantley Gilbert had to reschedule. They got half way through the show and that's when the storm hit," says McClung.
Because of the damage four other shows were cancelled, costing the venue 40 thousand dollars. General Manager of Bubba's Country Tavern, Carla Rackley, remembers the flood of business coming in from the rain.
"Well we got really busy, everybody ran in and tried to get in the door immediately to get out of the rain. Because it was such a fast shower it was like nothing and then it was pouring down," says Rackley.
There were already plans to replace the roof and according to McClung, Mother Nature just sped up the process.
"I think people are going to be really impressed with the new roof structure when it gets up and we'll be able to attract more and even better shows with the roof in place," says McClung.
McClung says the permanent roof will be similar to the pavilion in the river market with a tin cover and wood on the inside. The extra traffic of bigger, better concerts gives businesses a much needed boost.
"That's like extra. So you lose out on all that extra, all those extra people down here and the business and yes you want that it helps anybody in the River Market to have those big shows down here," says Rackley.
The request for bids for the new roof will come in by mid October.