The Long Center’s new outdoor concert venue, Statesman Skyline Theater, opens Saturday with a 7 p.m. concert featuring Boston and former Styx singer Dennis DeYoung. We got an early look at the grounds today as crews were setting up the stage, fences and various facilities on the lawn in front of the Long Center.
The stage sits at the bottom of the hillside on the northwestern edge of the Long Center grounds, with room for a few thousand patrons on the grass and the concrete plaza at the building’s entrance. Lady Bird Lake and the city skyline dominate the view to the north.
The eastern side of the lawn, farther from the stage, also will feature an area with games such as cornhole. Food trucks will be set up both there and on the plaza, which will also feature a long bar against the entrance wall of the Long Center.
Because the adjacent Palmer Events Center has an Austin Symphony Orchestra event on Saturday, the stage has been set up slightly differently than it will be for most shows, Paragon Presents founder Paul Thornton said Friday. Usually it will be set a little farther back and angled more directly toward the plaza. the slightly adjusted angle is intended to reduce any possible noise bleed between the new venues, Thornton said.
A large tent at the southeast end of the grounds provides shade for those who need it, and the Long Center’s air-conditioned lobby also will be open, with access to another bar and restrooms. VIP ticket holders will have access to an upper-level balcony that overlooks the stage and the grounds.
Gates open to most ticket holders at 6 p.m., with a 5:50 p.m. early entry for those who purchase a $10 picnic pass that also allows bringing in food (but not beverages). A planned pre-show cruise on Lady Bird Lake has been canceled as a result of the boating ban still in effect after recent heavy rains.
Here’s the view from the front of the stage, looking out at the crowd space and the plaza: