Today, there were two press conferences about the opening of Daily's Place, the new venue, this weekend. The first, hosted inside City Hall at 1:30 p.m., included remarks from Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, the city's Sports & Entertainment Officer Dave Herrell and Chad Johnson, Senior Vice President of Bold Events, the Jaguars' newest venture.
The mayor began the meeting talking about the upcoming weekend festivities. After drawing a chuckle saying that while he would attend some events, you wouldn't see him dancing, Curry said, "Daily's Place is adding another family weekend of fun and art."
The new amphitheater constructed at the south end of EverBank Field is set to have its first concert on Saturday, May 27. Daily's Place has a lot in store for 2017, including 42 concerts currently scheduled. However, there have been some questions about whether the venue will be finished in time. From outside the construction fencing this afternoon, seating appeared mostly complete; however, the stage remained unfinished.
Even though Jaguars insiders say that the construction crew is essentially working around the clock, with Saturday right around the corner, some are skeptical. Staff and local officials have no doubt it will be ready in time, however. Johnson said, "Daily's will open this Saturday. We have a great crew working the next three days to put this together. It will make Jacksonville proud with the facilities we can provide."
The 2:30 p.m. press conference, in the lavish US Upper Assure Club West of EverBank Field, included remarks from the CEO of Bold Events, Mark Lamping. The meeting consisted of a run-through on how the venue will operate, its amenities and features and some information on how ready the amphitheater is for Saturday.
Asked whether the venue is safe to hold a concert and if all permits had been obtained, Lamping said, "This is very typical in a project this large. All building systems have been signed off." He followed up, explaining, "Almost all work besides concrete is underway. Work has been going on 22 hours a day, only stopping between 4:30-6:30 a.m."
When Folio Weekly asked what the back-up plan was, in case construction is not complete for the first show, Lamping responded, "I resign and quit. There will be an event on Saturday." The theme throughout the press conference was that Daily's will be safe and ready for Saturday's Tedeschi Trucks Band concert.
Lamping provided further assurances, saying, "When [people] visit Daily's Place, they're gonna have a safe and fun show." He also stressed that he was "confident that Daily's will get rave reviews come Sunday morning."
Daily's Place plans to feature three concerts practically back-to-back this weekend alone, including Train and Dave Matthews. Saturday is coming up and, ready or not, here comes rock 'n' roll.