New Walmart AMP Adds HIgh Note to Region's Quality of Life

A topping-off ceremony earlier today helped celebrate the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP), which opens in June.

An overview of the $11 million project, the recognition of the project’s major contributors, a beam-signing ceremony and the announcement that Boston, Foreigner and the Steve Miller Band will perform at the venue later this year were among the event’s highlights.

When open this summer in Rogers, the amphitheater will provide Northwest Arkansas with its largest concert venue. There will be 3,000 fixed, covered seats and space for more than 4,000 concertgoers in a large lawn seating area.

Northwest Arkansas leaders have consistently upgraded quality-of-life amenities over the past several years, opening one of the nation’s finest art museums, establishing a minor-league baseball stadium and franchise, and building the Razorback Regional Greenway bike-pedestrian trail from Bella Vista to Fayetteville.

The Walmart AMP joins those impressive urban amenities. It’s located in a rapidly growing area of Northwest Arkansas, near new restaurants, hotels and Pinnacle Hills Promenade, one of the state’s largest retail lifestyle centers.

The amphitheater project kicked off last fall. Its central location near Interstate 540 is no more than a 20-minute drive from most of the region’s nearly 500,000 residents.

The location is the AMP's first permanent home. It was initially located on the parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall, but it was relocated to the Washington County Fairgrounds in 2012. Since 2009, those taking the stage at the facility widely known as "The AMP" have included Vampire Weekend, Miranda Lambert, the Avett Brothers, Cake, the Goo Goo Dolls, Blue Oyster Cult, Colbie Caillat and Ted Nugent.

Concerts announced for this summer at the new amphitheater include Darius Rucker (on June 20) and Willie Nelson plus Alison Krauss and Union Station (on July 7).

The performances by Boston (Aug. 15), Foreigner (Aug. 29) and the Steve Miller Band (Sept. 27) add to this year's music highlights.

Major contributors to the project include Walmart, Johnelle Hunt, the Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, General Mills, Tyson Foods, Kellogg's, Jim Beam, Cox Communications, Mondelex, Coca-Cola, George's, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Brian Crowne.