RCP is in the business of community empowerment. We dream up places for everyone to enjoy; every age group, gender, race, religion, and background. RCP’s mission is to promote innovative economic and cultural drivers and authentic places that improve the quality of life within the communities they serve. Curation of culture is at the center of that.
Last month, RCP Companies announced our support of The City of Huntsville’s initiative to put Huntsville, Alabama, on the map as a Music City. The City is partnering with Sound Diplomacy, a respected and innovative London-based music consultant, to conduct a full audit of the city’s music ecology. The audit will evaluate Huntsville’s fragmented music industry and determine what programs and infrastructures can be implemented to result in a strong, positive cultural and economic impact for the region. RCP revealed how the world-class 8,500 capacity amphitheater accompanied by the newly introduced MidCity Live, the 7-2, and numerous other venues will grow and support the local music sector.
In 2015, RCP engaged Robert Charles Lesser & Co. to study the Huntsville market. They conducted an Amphitheater Analysis to evaluate the market opportunity for an outdoor amphitheater to be built as part of the mixed-use MidCity Huntsville development. Key findings included:
A year after this analysis, AL.com published an article discussing the feasibility and impact an amphitheater would have on Huntsville. AL.com interviewed community members who have to travel to other cities to fulfill their entertainment needs. They also spoke with Huntsville Director of Urban Development, Shane Davis, who explained that when Huntsville decides to invest in an amphitheater, it will be to improve the quality of life as a regional entertainment center. These comprehensive studies have culminated in Huntsville affirming plans for an 8,500 capacity amphitheater at MidCity.
Design of the amphitheater will begin this summer with construction starting in 2019 and the first concerts scheduled to be booked for early 2020.
MidCity Live will be a 25,000 sf acoustically superior and multi-purpose performing arts center with adjustable 500 – 1,500 capacity. The venue is in the early stages of design and will be incomparable to anything in the region.
Delivering diverse performance venues that attract A-list talent to the community is a key factor in building a sustainable music culture. MidCity Live is expected to cost approximately $8-10 Million, funded by a new RCP sponsored entity.
Under the guidance and leadership of recording industry veterans Codie G. of Slow Motion Soundz and Shawn Patrick, RCP’s Artist and Talent Development Director, The 7-2 (named for US Highway 72 that extends from Chattanooga to Memphis through Huntsville) will serve as the control center to promote and develop Huntsville’s music culture as well as function as a central rallying point to promote the music industry and the abundance of existing talent throughout the Tennessee Valley region.
As a talent incubator, The 7-2 encourages collaboration, education, and innovation through its evolving partnership with Muscle Shoals Music known for its tradition of unifying genres, connecting musicians and birthing new sounds. The incubator will include performance venues, rehearsal spaces, and recording studios as well as co-working spaces to identify, retain and develop talent, according to Codie G.
At the core of The 7-2 is an initiative called MARS – Music and Arts Redefining Space. With a nod to Huntsville’s legacy of space exploration, the MARS program will connect music industry leaders, iconic brands, and artists with world-class facilities and venues at a central location in the Tennessee Valley region. The 7-2 will kick off this initiative when The Camp opens this summer.
At the door of MidCity sits The Camp – a 10,000 sf outdoor leisure destination that will open this summer as a fully operating restaurant and bar. The Camp will host creative weekend programming, and will also be an exciting venue available for private events. The Camp will also be home to Alchemy’s second location inside a two-story shipping container coffee shop. As the first venue that opened at MidCity, we celebrated the grand opening of The Camp in the driving rain of Fireside Music Festival in August 2017. Rain or shine we kept it rolling! This ethos and passion set the tone for the adventures to come at MidCity, The 7-2, and Huntsville. It’s what we’re all about – creating memorable experiences.
In addition to these one-of-a-kind venues, some new restaurants and retailers will also be partnering as venues for entertainment. Rascal Flatts, the popular trio with more than a dozen No. 1 singles under their belts, is rolling out a chain of restaurants, including one at MidCity Huntsville. This celebrity-driven restaurant and entertainment venue will bring the much-loved country music vibe to the project. Across the MidCity development, there are more than 10 areas of activation that are suitable to host events, concerts, and activities of all degrees.
What we’re creating at MidCity will drive sustainable economic development and support the City’s exciting efforts. We’re not just building buildings; we’re building culture. Not only will this endeavor be a lightning rod for Huntsville to promote its music heritage, but these entertainment venues will also truly nurture Huntsville’s music ecosystem that extends throughout the region.