It opened less than a year ago, but the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving is already the ninth most-attended amphitheater in the world, according to Pollstar Magazine. The magazine's list of the top 50 amphitheaters based on ticket sales in the first half of the year shows that the venue sold more than 52,000 tickets from Jan. 1 to June 30.
The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, the youngest amphitheater in Texas, has attracted ceaseless crowds since its inauguration Sept. 9. Its figures for the first half of 2018 surpass numbers for five Texas amphitheaters also on the list: Austin360 Amphitheater, No. 10; the Woodland’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, No. 13; New Braunfels’ Whitewater Amphitheater, No. 20; and Dallas’ Dos Equis Pavilion, No. 33.
Michael Rilley, general manager of the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory, credits much of the venue’s success to its elaborate construction and multifaceted bookings.
“The ranking reflects the versatility of the venue and the variety of artists the building can present,” Rilley says. “The Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory presents shows 12 months a year in different venue configurations, allowing us to greatly expand the artistic offerings in the venue.”
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As part of the larger Toyota Music Factory, the Pavilion has an advantage over other amphitheaters . The facility provides restaurants and bars that audience members can visit before or after a show. Rilley believes that these attractions, along with the bands scheduled to perform, entice music lovers of all kinds to attend the Pavilion often.
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“Great programming — a very diverse profile of artists have played the venue, attracting a huge variety of audiences,” he says. “Also, with the opening of Grimaldi’s, Alamo Drafthouse, Thirsty Lion, Gloria’s Yard House, Freshii, Kabuki, Bar Louie, the fan experience has been elevated. There are so many different options for a fan to eat and drink before or after the show. The entire Toyota Music Factory campus becomes part of the concert experience.”
The three-in-one Pavilion has modified traditional amphitheater design to adapt from show to show. As Rilley explains, the venue can convert from an indoor 2,500-capacity theater fit for intimate concerts to a 4,000-capacity indoor theater or a massive 8,000-capacity outdoor amphitheater.
“[The venue] meets the standards of an amphitheater because you have the ability to do outdoor concerts,” Rilley says. “But what makes this venue special is that when the back walls are closed, we are a 4,000-seat theater. We can also be a 2,500-seat theater for shows that need to play to a smaller size. We can remove seats in our lower section and become a nightclub or a special events center. The venue is like a piece of clay that can be sculpted and molded depending on the artist, the audience or the producer’s needs.”