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December 1, 2010

Merriweather Post Pavilion ranked second-best amphitheater in the country; Virgin Mobile FreeFest helped

PX00073_9.JPGColumbia's Merriweather Post Pavilion has been named the second best amphitheater in the country by Billboard magazine. 

The venue was one of the three finalists in the magazine's touring awards, which tracks the top-selling shows between October 2009 and this year. 

The second place ranking puts it behind Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl in terms of attendance and box office.

Merriweather was no doubt helped by the festivals it hosted this year, including Summer Spirit, where Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu, among others, performed. And by Virgin Mobile FreeFest, where M.I.A. and LCD Soundsystem headlined rival stages.

The venue attracts some 250,000 concert goers a year, according to promoter I.M.P, which runs the venue, along with the 9:30 club in DC.

Fun fact! Merriweather, which was designed by Frank Gehry, opened in 1967 and was intended to be the summer home of the National Symphony Orchestra.  (via Explore Howard)

Photo: Virgin Mobile FreeFest 2010 (Josh Sisk/Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 9:44 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Local music


Having grown up in Columbia, I have more than a little nostalgia for Merriweather, but the sound is average at best, and the security staff is a bunch of fascists.

If Merriweather was #2, where the heck on the list was Red Rocks? Merriweather is nice and all, but...

AK what is it exactly that security did to make you say that????

They haven't allowed me to break the law in my preferred ways for the last 7 or 8 years. Before that, breaking the law was my perogative.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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