CLIO (WJRT) -
(07/08/14) - It's a Mid Michigan music venue that's ready to rock once again. The Clio Amphitheater opens its summer concert series Tuesday night.
"We are thrilled to have Danny and the Juniors opening with Tommy Vale and the Torpedos," said Gary Langdon, Clio Amphitheater chairman.
The seven week schedule includes everything from Rock 'n' Roll to Caribbean jazz, a few cover bands and a handful of well known names.
"If you want to see one of the originators of Motown, we have Junior Walker coming here. Couple people said to me the other day, 'Junior Walker? Is he still around?' I said, 'Yeah, he'll be live and on our stage,'" Langdon said.
Back in its hey day, the Amphitheater hosted performances by big names like Wayne Brady, Keith Urban, Jewel, Peter Frampton, Clay Aiken, and even O-Town. Down the road, the management team would like to find a way to bring some of them back.
"If we can find possibly a donor or someone that can help us to bring in some of the bigger acts, we normally have to give them about $50,000 up front, and we don't have that cash right now," Langdon said.
The 26-year-old facility has managed to steadily recover from a 2005 bankruptcy. It's run solely by volunteers. Revenue from last year's ticket sales paid for this season's concerts, along with electrical upgrades and a new roof.
"It's a beautiful venue and as long as the weather cooperates, it's a great place to see a show. There's not a bad seat in the house," said Tommy Vale, musician and concert promoter.
With age, though, comes a few issues - and the last few days haven't been easy.
"Every time it rains, we get buckets of sand that come down the steps and into the park, and that erosion has to be taken care of, and it will be," Langdon said.
A 10 year plan and capital campaign is in the works - one that will help the Clio Amphitheater survive and thrive for decades to come.
"We're not going away. We plan on being here for a long time. We want to make sure that our kids and their families enjoy it as much as we have in the past," Langdon said.
Tuesday's show begins at 7 p.m.
For a schedule of concerts at the Clio Amphitheater, click HERE.