Photo: Noah Lazes of the ARK Group Congratulates and thanks all those who made the Live Nation’s partnership in the Music Factory in Irving possible. / Photo by Genesis Bishop
Energy buzzed in the air as entertainment industry leaders and Irving politicos hobnobbed prior to a special announcement from Live Nation Entertainment in the dimly lit, incense filled, Foundation Room at the House of Blues in Dallas on Wednesday, Dec. 3.
The news shared was one that will, literally, “rock” Irving in the relatively near future. Live Nation announced its partnership with the ARK Group of Dallas to bring a new venue, the Pavilion at the Music Factory, to Irving in the spring of 2016.
“I’ve been promoting concerts here in Dallas for about 25 years, and I’m thrilled to have an agreement in place with the ARK Group, as well as, the opportunity to manage, operate and promote a brand new, state of the art, venue that’s going to really complete our portfolio in the Dallas market,” Bob Roux, Co-President of Live Nation North American Concerts, said. “We had a tremendous year here in Dallas with our concert activity ranging from events at House of Blues, the Southside Ballroom, Gexa Amphitheater, American Airlines Center and AT&T Stadium, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without all of the support that we received.”
Live Nation is the touted as the global leader for live entertainment, boasting 400 million fans, 240,000 events across 33 countries – somewhere in the world a Live Nation event is being held every 20 minutes, according to Live Nation.
“I want to thank all of the Irving City Council that are here today for making this all possible and really getting behind this project that’s going to be a very unique entertainment space,” Roux said.
“You’ve got a lot to be proud of, and when you see this thing in action, you’re going to be thrilled.”
Some Irving City Council members and city staff in attendance included, Oscar Ward, Dennis Webb, Brad LaMorgese, Alan Meagher and new city manager Chris Hillman.
Roux showed renderings of the proposed new venue to be incorporated into the Music Factory Lifestyle Center that the ARK Group recently broke ground on near the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas.
“The Pavilion at the Music Factory will truly be the first venue of its kind anywhere in the world, and is scheduled to open in April of 2016,” Roux said. “The Pavilion at the Music Factory is a highly versatile and extremely intimate venue that will provide a concert experience like none before for fans of live music.
“The Pavilion at the Music Factory’s unique design is going to allow us the ability to host both indoor concerts, as well as, open air concerts all at the same facility,” he said.
The showcased plans featured an amphitheater-style venue with the ability to be a fully indoor space with a capacity for 4,000 people or an indoor/open-air venue that can accommodate up to 8,000 individuals.
“Having the ability to go back and forth between two different size venues is really going to allow us to expand the number of shows we can book, because artists always want to be in the right configuration for their value in a given market,” Roux said. “We’re looking forward to hosting around 100 events each year, between our concerts, corporate rentals, plus parties and special events.
“We’re also going to be working very closely with the ARK Group on developing a number of festivals that will showcase the pavilion as a centerpiece of those festivals, but will also utilize all the grounds throughout the development.”
Roux said that the venue would house around 40 luxury boxes with a combined seating capacity of 200 people and that Ticketmaster would handle the ticketing of all their events.
The plans for the ARK Group’s Music Factory Lifestyle Center include around 210,000 square feet of retail shops, restaurants, bowling, movies, night clubs and bars.
“When we came to Irving, many questioned the ‘build it, they will come’ vision,” Noah Lazes, Co-Founder and President of the ARK Group, said. “Announcing today that the world’s largest concert holder and ticket broker is a partner in the project, we believe, proves the statement for ARK.
“When we started, this project was just a dream. Today you see bulldozers, you see construction out in Irving, Texas, and you see this project becoming a reality,” he said.
Bringing the Music Factory project to fruition was no easy task for its supporters and investors, however, as the project was repeatedly stalled, reworked and presented to Irving officials again and again over the course of nearly a decade.
“None of this would have been possible without the support of the voters of Irving who overwhelmingly approved a voter referendum to make this entertainment center possible,” Lazes said. “Then the Irving City Council ratified that and made this dream a reality.”
In celebration of their hard-earned success, the ARK Group hosted a party/ground-breaking on the now construction-filled land in Las Colinas back in September of this year.
“As many of you know we had almost 3,000 people show up in a field of dirt beside the convention center in Irving on a hot summer night in September,” Lazes said. “Can you guys imagine what will happen when we have an 8,000-capacity pavilion, an eight-screen movie theater, 25 restaurants and entertainment venues all swinging their doors open in the spring of 2016?
“Without Live Nation as a partner in this project, it just simply would not have been possible. We cannot think of a better partner and a better anchor to make this project a reality.
“We all know Irving has great office, we know it has great residential, we know it has good transportation, but nobody thinks of it as entertainment yet. Get ready. Soon enough they’re going to know Irving, Texas for entertainment.
“We look forward to many great shows and great nights in Irving,” he said.