DES MOINES, Iowa — Some Des Moines live music advocates fear the proposed conversion of a historic downtown armory into two venues would hurt existing organizations.
National concert promoter Live Nation has partnered with Christensen Development to proposed the up to $15 million renovation of the Argonne Armory, the Des Moines Register reported . The two venues would hold 800 and 2,000 people each.
“Live Nation will always work with its established partners to ensure responsible programming that benefits the Des Moines community as a whole,” the proposal said. “We look to continue our regional relationships and welcome the opportunity to work with other city organizations.”
Live Nation’s proposal outlined hip-hop, indie rock and country musicians that it could bring to the venues. Acts included Young The Giant, Bob Dylan, Barenaked Ladies, John Legend, Kendrick Lamar and Sara Bareilles.
Some city music leaders and entrepreneurs created an online petition against the plan. They say Live Nation’s “monolithic approach to business” would endanger locally owned venues.
“These guys will control everything,” said Dan Green, director of the 515 Alive Music Festival. “They’ll control the tours. They already control the ticketing. It creates a complete monopoly.”
The new venue doesn’t aim to overshadow local businesses, said Jake Christensen, the project’s developer.
“(Music fans) have the choice with their ticket-buying for where they want to go,” Christensen said. “It will give people an option that doesn’t currently exist. That’s what we’re trying to provide here.”
Live Nation already does business in Des Moines. It presented 10 of the 21 shows at Wells Fargo Arena from July 2016 to June 2017.
Other proposals for the armory seek to turn it into condominium apartments or restore it and add residential units to the upper floor. The city will study the proposals April 30 and make a recommendation to the City Council.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com