La Vista green-lights new indoor/outdoor music venue; Those Far Out Arrows, Dirt House tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 12:47 pm June 20, 2018

An illustration of the proposed La Vista music venue.

by Tim McMahan,

This morning while drinking my coffee, shortly after watching a hard-hitting piece about a couple who stole a $25 wading pool (“stealing kids’ summer fun“), KETV Channel 7 reported that 1% Productions and KC’s Mammoth Productions received approval from the La Vista City Council to build a new indoor/outdoor music venue on South 84th St. This is the project first announced back in January.

There’s some disagreement about the venues’ capacities. KETV reported that the new music hall will hold 2,400 while the adjacent outdoor amphitheater will hold 5,000. The Omaha World-Herald reported the capacities to be 1,800 and 4,000 respectively.

When this project was first announced, the biggest concerns I heard surrounded how it would impact The Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge bookings, arguably the best venues in town for indie music, both of which are booked by One Percent Productions. Marc Leibowitz, who runs One Percent with Jim Johnson, is attributed in the OWH article as saying the new facility is “not aimed at taking down other venues.” I’m not sure if he was talking about his own venues, but let’s face it, the La Vista project is too big for the kind of bands booked at TWR or Reverb, which have capacities below 700 and 200 respectively. (Unless, of course, they also build a small club inside the new La Vista facility…).

The bigger risk is the financial gamble — One Percent and Mammoth are putting up the money to build the venues. The price hasn’t been reported, though $15 million was mentioned in January as the cost for the indoor club alone. The city is apparently paying $3.2 million in park improvements (where the amphitheater will be located), which it said it was going to do anyway.

Beyond the financial risks to the promoters, who else could feel the impact of this new music venue when it opens in 2020? Stir Cove comes to mind, so does Papillion’s SumTur Amphitheater. And what about Maha? It seems like the Maha Music Festival was invented as a vehicle to bring in the kind of acts that the La Vista project is tailor-made to host. BTW, One Percent has been involved in booking Maha for nearly a decade.

In the end, the La Vista venues will make it more likely acts like Courtney Barnett and Beach House will come to Omaha (though I can’t see how it will help attract small-drawing high-quality acts like Snail Mail, Algiers and Natalie Prass, who also are bypassing our little ‘burb)…

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The Pageturners summer music series continues tonight with Those Far Out Arrows and opener The Sunks. This free show starts at 9 p.m.

Also tonight, Dirt House, the project led by singer/songwriter Annie Dilocker, is having a listening party for their new EP Come Over, tonight at Hi-Fi House. The free program starts at 7:30 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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