The progress of the Osage Creek Amphitheater

June 28th, 2011 at 10:17 am

The Osage Creek Amphitheater as of mid-June. Visible in the photo, from front, moving back, are the stage, orchestra area, VIP seating, chair back seats (which were being installed on this day), bleacher seating area and the grassy berm area for general admission seating. Photo by KEVIN KINDER, NWA Media.

The reports came in earlier this month. The Country Throwdown, a concert featuring Willie Nelson and many other country artists, would not take place as planned.

The problem? The much ballyhooed and long-awaited Osage Creek Amphitheater would not be constructed in time for the show, which was to take place on July 3.

Last week, we chatted with venue owner Greg Smith and also visited the construction site, which is located in rural Benton County between Tontitown and Siloam Springs.

Here’s what can tell you, after seeing things first-hand: The venue is not ready. But, much is being done to make it so. Chairs are being installed. Concrete work continues, and already, the stage is poured. Electrical equipment capable of providing power to the band’s equipment is installed or close to installed. Additionally, Benton County road crews are busy preparing the access road for pavement.

Smith says he’s now looking at an opening date closer to Labor Day.

Alternating seat colors will spell out the words ‘Osage’ and ‘Creek’ when viewed from the stage.

To get the full scoop on the progress of the venue, you’ll have to read our story. We published it Friday (June 24) in the five daily newspapers of Northwest Arkansas. You can also read an online version, if you’re a subscriber to our newspaper.

What are your thoughts about the venue?