Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater COMPLETED

We’ve been watching the progress and anxiously awaiting the finished product for months, and the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater officially received it’s Certificate of Occupancy last Friday. Having lunch at Pier Park Wednesday, I overheard them sound testing and stopped by to check it out.

Once I got there, I found Pro Tech (the sound and lighting masterminds behind the PCB Seafood Fest and many of the other events you’ve spectated in our area) with speakers hung, lighting in the progress of being hung, all to test the new infrastructure and play with the setup.  They were rocking out to AC/DC and Mario Gisbert (the new City Manager) and other local officials with the City of Panama City Beach were there to witness the tests.

The concept renderings of the building were pretty, but the finished building is really a spectacle to behold.  The colors are vibrant and the style closely matches the motif Pier Park set precedent for years earlier and the architectural features are clean and beautiful.  It was fun walking through it as it felt like that new shiny car that you’re test driving for the very first time.

They said the first scheduled event is in April for the Seabreeze Jazz Festival and they tentatively have the Panama City POPs scheduled for a performance there later in the spring.

Here is a breakdown of all the features of this new amphitheater.

Here are other posts related to the Pier Park Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater.

Pictures

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From this view, you can see the paved driveway that will allow access for performer’s vehicles and loading trucks.

 

IMG_7662_3_4_fusedwtmkThis is from the back of the stage looking out, to the north and slightly to the east.  The covered stage area is very large, much larger than some of the pop-up stages that we’ve seen here in the past.

 

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This is obviously from the front-west side.  The white panel you see is a place for a projector to project video of performances.  Behind that panel is the dressing rooms and admin office.

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This is looking at the opposite side of the amphitheater.  The white panel here is the same as the other side and there is a large loading area perfect for anything up to a semi-truck trailer to unload.

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This view shows the back of the structure.  You can see how polished everything is.  That large green area in the middle are those huge hangar doors that open up completely and allow the Seabreeze come through.

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Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater Structure is UP

In this third and final installment of construction updates in the Pier Park general area in Panama City Beach, the Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater has raised its hand and remarked that its structure is up and the roof is in place. Having been under construction for just a short period, you can actually see the final product as its come up from the ashes of the previous structure commonly referred to as “The Claw.”

For a recount of all the features this new amphitheater will have, click here.

Pictures.

In this shot you can see the entire front front of the new Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater.  If you’re down here, I highly recommend walking over to check it out in person.  It’s really quite large and very exciting!

This shot was taken from the back right (southwest) of the building.  Behind those already-colored walls will be the dressing rooms and admin office.  The large opening in the center under the peak of the roof structure will be where the hangar doors are that will be able to be opened.

This is a closer look at the large opening directly behind the stage.  For scale, you can see the man in the middle by the boards leaning on the scaffolding.  I’d assume he’s an average height.  The structure really is quite tall.

This shot is from the southeast side of the building.  The large opening in the middle of the shot on the easterly facing wall is where the tractor trailers could pull up and load/unload.

This gives you a better view of the loading/unloading area.

This is the new restroom facility behind the existing facility

This is a shot from the very back of the venue grounds.  Directly behind me and to the right is the bathroom facilities.  You can see from this shot that this will be a very sweet and grandly improved venue.  So exciting!!!

Aaron Bessant Park Improvements [UPDATE]

Well, the Jazz Festival was awesome!  They had record numbers and mostly excellent weather (minus Saturday), and they’ve already started selling tickets for next year!  With that out of the way, the improvements that are slated for Aaron Bessant Park are preparing to begin! Although I don’t look forward for the workers working during our hot summer days.

We’ve discussed what the plans are here, and you’ve certainly chimed in.

Q&A with the City of Panama City Beach

We were curious about what was happening over there and fired off some questions to Mario Gisbert, the director of the CRA, who also happens to handle some of the logistics regarding the development of this project.

Q. Now that the Jazz Fest is over, is there a projected begin date for the Aaron Bessant Park Amphitheater Improvements?

We are fine toning the drawings now, we will be pricing per the City of Panama City Beach requirements shortly (one month process).  Upon council approval of bids (two week process) and not exceeding the budget we would start construction.  Goal would be June start.

Q. What is the projected construction time on the amphitheater?

The construction duration is approximately 5 months.

Q. What has been learned about the acoustical ramifications of the way the speakers can be oriented?

With proper speaker orientation, building configuration and amplification limitations, the performances will work within the current sound ordinance.  These issues are being addressed with the building design.  The performance standards are being developed at this point in time.

Q. How will the speakers be oriented in order to be sensitive to the needs of the surrounding public?

The speakers will be aimed (7 degree cone) into the audience and not out towards the neighborhoods.

Q. Was some of what has been learned put into practice for the Jazz Festival this year?

The performance provider was aware of the current issues and did coordinate the speakers for a proper responsible performance.  The current sound ordinance limits were adhered.  We did monitor the event.

Q. How will the sound be monitored on an ongoing basis to be sure everyone is happy?

We will complete the performance standards and monitor the effects and adjust as needed.  We are planning on having the acoustician present during the new building performance in order to make final adjustments with building and speakers and amplification.