Merriweather Post Pavilion, the outdoor amphitheater in Columbia, Md., will stay open at least through the 2005 season, according to officials at IMP Productions. IMP, which also own D.C.’s 9:30 Club, took over the venue’s promotion, management and booking last November.
Merriweather’s future was put into question when owners the Rouse Company offered to sell the venue to Howard County on the condition that it remains a center for the arts. While Rouse cited years of financial losses and a decline in bookings, Jean Parker, Merriweather’s general manager argued, “The building has never lost money.”
IMP declared success in its first season and record ticket sales for several summer tours. “We were extremely gratified, although not terribly surprised, that the same principles we’ve applied at our 9:30 Club were so overwhelmingly appreciated in our first year at Merriweather,” said IMP chairman Seth Hurwitz.
Under IMP’s direction, Merriweather put on 26 shows this year, rather than 40, which is typical of a successful year. But IMP says it has worked to increase the quality of shows, rather than quantity. Merriweather is the D.C. area’s second oldest summer concert venue.