Perhaps heralding a new era for the downtown area, the Garden Grove City Council on Tuesday night approved a new operator for the Festival Amphitheater on Main Street.
Council members voted 7-0 in favor of a facility use agreement with LFA Group for the 550-seat venue, which is currently the home for the Shakespeare Orange County troupe and Strawberry Productions, which stages film screenings and concerts.
Approved is a 10-year lease with two more five-year options for LFA to operate the outdoor bowl. LFA has agreed to make at least a $125,000 investment to improve and update the facility within the first four years of the deal. Additionally, LFA will be installing another $165,000 in lightning and sound equipment to the amphitheater.
The agreement also requires that LFA sign sub-lease agreements with SOC and M&D Silva, which operates the Strawberry [Bowl] Productions. The new operator will book live entertainment, corporate meetings and seminars and special events.
Operational hours would run until 11 p.m., with restricted use of amplified sound after 10 p.m. The deal allows LFA to explore naming rights for the facility and supports acquiring a liquor license, provided that 20 percent of net alcohol sales be passed to the Garden Grove Community Foundation.
Although the council approved the plan unanimously, several members did raise concerns, especially about noise issues affecting nearby residents. Councilman Phat Bui, who represents the Fourth District which includes the Amphitheater, emphasized that he wanted the operator and city to make sure that noise didn’t bother neighbors unduly.
Kimberly Huy, community services director, assured the council that the sound situation would be monitored but cautioned that “We may need to make adjustments. It may not be perfect the first time.”
The facility is located in Village Green Park, a block west of Euclid Street and north of Garden Grove Boulevard.
Categories: Garden Grove