Classic East Troy, WI venue Alpine Valley Music Theatre just approved a major change, converting one of their massive parking lots into a 25.5-acre campgrounds to accommodate fans at the struggling venue. According to Alpine Valley representatives, ticket sales at Alpine have been lower in recent years, and having the camp sites would be a good way to entice fans to attend multi-night runs at the storied grounds.
The new campgrounds would hold roughly 550 camp sites, including 45 RV areas, for up to 3,324 people. While the zoning conversion will mean a decrease in the venue’s capacity by a full 9,000 people, Alpine would still be able to hold over 28,000 people for concerts; more than enough, considering the venue is having a hard time selling tickets and enticing performers as is.
“You guys have all seen our attendance numbers drop down, our show counts drop down,” said general manager Brian Rutowski in a report from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We’re trying to rebound, change with the times, and bring back a facility that has been a great asset in the area and allow people to come in and enjoy shows more frequently.”
The change comes after 18 months of negotiations between the county zoning board, the sheriff’s department and Live Nation. Alpine Valley used to have camping on site, but the report says that local residents were uneasy after some incidents when camping was allowed during past Grateful Dead runs at the venue in the 1980’s. “There were some bad scenes, as far as people parking their car in the middle of the road or camping in people’s backyards,” said Mark Campana, co-president of North American concerts at Live Nation.
Only a handful of bands, including Dave Matthews Band, Dead & Company, Zac Brown Band, and Jimmy Buffett, have shows scheduled at Alpine this summer. The addition of camping is sure to bring an exciting new energy to the storied venue!