Pavilion opener is April 16

Merriweather Post, its future uncertain, to start with Maroon 5

February 18, 2005|By William Wan | William Wan,SUN STAFF

Merriweather Post Pavilion will soon be open for business. Though questions remain about the Columbia amphitheater's future, tickets for this year's first show - musical group Maroon 5 - go on sale tomorrow.

The company operating Merriweather hopes the April 16 concert will jumpstart the concert season.

"Getting Maroon 5 is a good one for us," said manager Jean Parker, noting that the band won a Grammy on Sunday. "It's a good way to start 2005."

I.M.P., the firm operating Merriweather, has a contract that lasts through this year, but General Growth Properties, which owns the outdoor amphitheater, is trying to sell it to a buyer that would transform it into a smaller, indoor venue.

A citizens panel appointed by Howard County Executive James N. Robey, has been investigating whether the county should buy the venue. The panel is scheduled to announce its recommendation Tuesday.

For now, I.M.P. is mostly focused on putting on good shows, said I.M.P. co-owner Seth Hurwitz.

Maroon 5 won a Grammy this week for best new artist.

The April 16 concert might be the earliest show ever booked at Merriweather, said Parker, who has worked there since 1977, 10 years after it opened.

"When we were working on booking this one," Hurwitz said, "we thought what would people rather do, go to a show inside an arena or get outside when spring is busting out all around you?"

According to Hurwitz, other scheduled shows this year include Velvet Revolver, Santana and Los Lonely Boys, and Jack Johnson.

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