No sleep ‘till Coney.
The long awaited Coney Island Amphitheater is finally here, just in time for a festive Independence Day opening weekend featuring a jam-packed, star-studded lineup.
The 5,000-seat covered open-air venue – slated to host a mix of concerts, family shows, sports, comedy and multicultural events – will be the new permanent home of the free Seaside Summer Concert Series and an entertainment hub in Southern Brooklyn that many local officials and Brooklynites have long hoped for.
The vision of former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz (although many thought it to be a pipe dream), was as real as the contagious smiles seen at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, June 29.
“We are thrilled to be unveiling Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk today,” said Jay Sugarman, CEO of iStar, the investment company behind the project. “This project is a symbol of so many things… rebirth, resiliency, hard work and creative partnership. This is the beginning of a new chapter for Coney Island and we’re excited for the years to come.”
Operated by Live Nation, the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk has already secured a unique and varied summer lineup of entertainment including 40 concerts (featuring 12 different genres of music), a variety of family shows, sporting events, comedy shows and multicultural events.
“I’m very proud to officially open this amphitheater,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I’m thrilled to hear that the music industry is reacting with such energy to this location, because this location has it all. How many venues can boast of such a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and open air and the legend of Coney Island? This is going to be one of the special places in New York City and it proves that the greatest city in the world can keep getting greater.”
Along with naming the nabe a desirable destination, de Blasio mentioned that the amphitheater brings with it an economic boost – with over 250 jobs created. Of those jobs, 182 were given to Brooklynites and 48 are held by Coney Island residents.
“Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk is a vivacious new addition that will quickly weave right into the fabric of Coney Island,” said Councilmember Mark Treyger, whose district includes the neighborhood. “While it is always good news to welcome more music and the arts to an already culturally rich neighborhood, the best part about this new facility is that the people behind it are committed to local hiring and community engagement, and will be working with local stakeholders to build on the area’s tradition of free community concerts and other purposeful programming.”
“Just in time for summer, visitors to the People’s Playground will enjoy a world-class music venue drawing internationally renowned performers to our borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Coney Island has always offered the entire community an opportunity to enjoy entertainment of all varieties on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk will continue that wonderful tradition. I am pleased that this will be the new permanent home of the Seaside Summer Concert Series that I am proud to host for thousands of music lovers from Brooklyn and beyond.”
The upcoming weekend’s grand opening celebration will kick off on Friday, July 1 with a comedy performance from the stars of truTV’s “Impractical Jokers,” followed by a Sunday, July 3 performance by Sting & Peter Gabriel, and will conclude on Monday, July 4 with The Beach Boys.
For a full list of shows and concerts, visit brooklynconcerts.com.
Towards the end of his speech, De Blasio turned to Markowitz and said, “Marty, you kept coming back year after year with those wonderful concerts, and you always wanted something more, and I hope today you’re filled with incredible satisfaction because your dream came true.”