Why Wellington Amphitheater’s popularity is booming at all-time high


Few spots in Wellington are as well-known and well-loved as the village’s amphitheater.

The 3,200-square-foot, seven-year-old facility features multiple events per week, from Wellington-hosted activities like the weekly Food Truck Invasion to the recent Craft, Draft and Bites event.

Now the village has released a schedule for early 2018 that includes dozens of family-friendly events, with free tribute band concerts and movies alongside the upcoming Bacon and Bourbon Fest in March.

RELATED

The amphitheater has become a “tribute music festival destination,” said Joe Piconcelli, cultural programs and facilities manager for Wellington. The venue has grown into “the home of tribute music,” he added, with about 160 tribute bands playing the amphitheater the past few years.

There are about 100 events a year at the amphitheater, or one every three days, Piconcelli said.

“It seems like a lot but we have it down pat,” he said.

What makes the tribute performances such a big draw? Piconcelli says it’s the iconic music being played by the bands. For the concerts, people of all ages spread out across the amphitheater’s lawn, sitting on blankets and camping chairs and chowing down on food from the Food Truck Invasion that often accompanies the concerts.

It’s the food trucks’ presence that allows the village to offset the cost of the amphitheater’s $130,000-a-year entertainment budget, Piconcelli said — allowing Wellington to continue to offer its signature free events.

“Times were tough six or seven years ago,” Piconcelli said, referring to when the amphitheater opened in 2010. “Wellington made the commitment that they wanted to do a free venue so people didn’t have to go out and spend money. … And we’ve been able to continue that.”

But it isn’t all about the music. Foodie festivals may have found a home at the amphitheater.

The Bacon and Bourbon Fest was wooed to Wellington after its former home of Delray Beach changed its special events policy to require organizers to cover the full cost of city services instead of the 40 percent previously required, said Nancy Stewart-Franczak of Festival Management Group, which organizes the Bacon and Bourbon Fest, Garlic Fest, Delray Affair and Craft Cocktails events.

When Festival Management announced it would move Bacon and Bourbon along with its signature event, Garlic Fest, eight cities and the county reached out to invite the organization to move to their areas. Palm Beach County’s offer of John Prince Park for Garlic Fest was accepted, along with Wellington’s pitch to use the amphitheater for Bacon and Bourbon.

“They don’t have anything of this magnitude there,” Stewart-Franczak said of Wellington. “I think they’re looking to activate the property that they have.”

The village has welcomed the Bacon and Bourbon Fest “with open arms,” she added. And because Wellington is partnering with Festival Management to put on the event, admission is free for the first time, with separate tickets sold for specialized pairing sessions.

Other festivals coming up:

  • The 12th annual Art Fest on the Green hosted by the Wellington Art Society returns Jan. 27-28 to the amphitheater complex with food trucks, art activities for children and live music.
  • The village’s Tribute Music and Food Truck Festival will be Feb. 15-17 and 22-24. Food trucks will be on-site from 5 to 9:30 p.m. with concerts starts at 7 p.m. each day. Performers range from Eagles tribute band The Long Run to Prince/Michael Jackson tribute performer Purple Madness.
  • The popular Wellington Idol competition hits the amphitheater stage March 9-10 with performances starting at 7 p.m.

For the full schedule, go to www.wellingtonfl.gov/amphitheater.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

5 things every parent should know about immunization
5 things every parent should know about immunization

Within the first few months of your child's life, your pediatrician will likely start talking to you about immunizations. Even if your house is stocked with hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap, it's important to know what options are out there to keep your kid safe from diseases that could have harmful consequences. With all of the talk...
Things to do: Jazz on J Street at Lake Worth Book Cellar
Things to do: Jazz on J Street at Lake Worth Book Cellar

Things to do in Lake Worth: 1. Jazz on J Street: A professional JAM Session hosted by Blanche Williams is Tuesday at The Book Cellar, 801 Lake Avenue. Show runs from 7-10 p.m. with a $5 cash cover. Free public parking available on Lake Avenue, J Street and all around. 2. Divas on Stage: Performances by Lupita Hollywood, Melissa St John, Dayzee Deluxx...
Judge: Edna Hibel museum must leave FAU’s Jupiter campus
Judge: Edna Hibel museum must leave FAU’s Jupiter campus

Works of art by Edna Hibel, and any other personal property from the foundation in the late Singer Island artist’s name, must be removed from Florida Atlantic University’s John D. MacArthur campus by Sept. 24, a judge has ruled. This marks the end of a battle to keep the Hibel Museum of Art at 5353 Parkside Drive in Jupiter through the...
Look for a big block party every month in downtown Lake Worth
Look for a big block party every month in downtown Lake Worth

Evening on the Avenue is gone in Lake Worth . Now, get ready for Block Party on the Avenue, a new monthly event starting Oct. 5 on Lake Avenue from 6 to 10 p.m. “We want to bring something new this year and try to help the merchants who are still open on the Avenue to bring business downtown,” said Vice Mayor...
Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way
Wellington game shooting: Too close for one family in more than one way

It all started with a cryptic text from their daughter. “I’m safe,” Hope Lerman had written to her parents, defense attorney Gregg Lerman and his wife, Debra. “I’m with Coach Pagley.” It was Friday night, and the Lermans had expected their daughter home late from one of the most highly anticipated football games...
More Stories