The Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre is a well known venue located in Irvine. Built in the 1980’s it was later opened in 1981 and has a huge seating capacity of 16,085.
Previously known as the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, seating is raised adjacent to the stage, where audiences are treated to some incredible views of Irvine.
Since 1987, the establishment has been the summer home of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, as well as the annual KROQ Weenie Roast.
The amphitheatre is famous for hosting popular music festivals, which includes; Area2 Festival, Fishfest, Gigantour, Lilith Fair, Lollapalooza, Projekt Revolution and Uproar Festival, a benefit concert for the recently deceased Social Distortion guitarist Dennis Danell, Ozzy Osbourne recorded a performance at the venue on June 12, 1982, for home video release, though it has been available only in Japan to this point. Speak of the Devil was released on DVD on July 17, 2012 from Eagle Rock Entertainment.
Pop superstar Michael Jackson performed three concerts at amphitheatre on November 7, 8 and 9, 1988 during his Bad Tour.
Oingo Boingo would play its annual Halloween concerts here from 1986 through 1991, and one final time in 1993, before moving the remaining 1994 and 1995 shows to Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Live Nation (formerly SFX Entertainment) bought the lease on the Amphitheatre in 1998.
The Smiths performed on August 28th, 1986 on the band’s The Queen is Dead tour.
The Grateful Dead performed at the amphitheatre 15 times from 1983 through 1989. Prince and The New Power Generation performed at the amphitheatre during the Jam of the Year Tour on October 12, 1997. Miley Cyrus performed at the amphitheatre in October 2008 for the promotional show of the series Hannah Montana.
Fall Out Boy performed on March 26th on their Winter is Coming tour in 2016.
The Amphitheatre was renamed to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in April 2000. The 7 year sponsorship deal between Verizon Wireless and SFX Entertainment, then owner of the amphitheatre, was a multimillion-dollar contract. Verizon renewed this contract for another 7 years, extending it to 2014. It did not opt to renew a second time and the name reverted to its original “Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre” in 2015.
The Amphitheatre’s land lease expires in 2017. The Irvine Company is not planning to renew it, but to instead build apartment buildings on the terrain, like with nearby water park Wild Rivers, closed in 2011. The city of Irvine is considering a replacement amphitheatre at the Orange County Great Park.