WILMINGTON –– U.K. band Glass Animals and comedian Jim Gaffigan will follow Widespread Panic as some of the first acts to break in the new stage at Wilmington’s Riverfront Park, Live Nation announced Tuesday.
Coming off the success of its mid-pandemic release “Heat Waves,” Glass Animals will play Sunday, Sept. 5, at the 7,200-person venue, following the band’s opening performance at Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee earlier that week. Tickets go on sale Thursday, May 6, at 10 a.m. on Ticketmaster.
The Wilmington show will be one of the four-member band’s first live concerts in the U.S. since it called off dates in late March 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, just as the band was making a comeback following their drummer’s cycling accident and life-threatening injuries.
A date is yet to be announced for Jim Gaffigan, a stand-up comic who can be seen weekly on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Gaffigan is preparing to release his Amazon Original “The Pale Tourist,” which premieres on Prime Video July 24. In the series, Gaffigan travels the world, embracing the locals and the culture at each place. He then morphs his experiences into fresh, location-specific material for his sets.
In a three-night residency, Widespread Panic is slated to appear July 16, 17 and 18 at the venue.
Bands Sublime with Rome and Michael Franti and Spearhead will play the park Thursday, Aug. 19. The Avett Brothers will appear Friday, Aug. 20 and again Saturday, Aug. 21. The shows had been rescheduled as part of Wilmington’s 74th annual Azalea Festival. Tickets are for sale online.
Live Nation plans to announce additional shows in the coming weeks and months.
“We are excited to unveil this beautiful and unique outdoor venue that we’ve been working closely with the city of Wilmington on as a part of the brand new Riverfront Park,” said Grant Lyman, Live Nation Carolinas president. “We can’t wait to bring incredible live entertainment to this one-of-a-kind coastal venue in Wilmington and we know the experience at Riverfront Park Amphitheater will be hard to top.”
The first coastal outdoor venue in the Carolinas, Riverfront Park features 2,400 seats and space for 4,800 attendees on its lawn. The 6.6-acre site is expected to open downtown in late June, around the same time Gov. Roy Cooper anticipates lifting capacity, mass-gathering, and social-distancing restrictions. Currently, venues are allowed up to half of their fire capacity, or a dozen people per 1,000 square feet, with guests at least 6 feet apart.
The city-owned approximately $33-plus million park, funded partially by the 2016 parks bond, features green space, a playground and splash pad for children, and trails and gardens, in addition to the Live Nation-managed amphitheater, complete with large-screen image amplification.
“Wilmington’s Riverfront Park offers an amazing opportunity for residents and visitors alike to experience the biggest names in entertainment at a venue unlike any other,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said in a press release. “This park has been years in the making and there’s no better time to welcome its first act than as we celebrate emerging from the pandemic.”
As it prepares for opening, Live Nation is hosting job fairs at the venue, located at 14 Harnett St. Interested applicants can visit the amphitheater Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or Saturday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to learn more about positions in security, ushering and ticket taking, cleaning, concessions and bars, and hosting the VIP rooftop area.
Have music news? Email email@example.com