Big time acts coming to Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Elton John, The Zac Brown Band and the Lion King are just a few of the big events headed to Richmond. Staff at the Richmond Coliseum, Landmark Theater, and Center Stage say that's keeping them busier than they've been in a long time.

"We're very excited," said SMG manager Dolly Vogt. She expects Elton John and Zac Brown to sell out. "Zac Brown is absolutely amazing. He's a remarkable artist. The country station in the market is the strongest in the market and they've really taken hold of it and it's been tremendous."

"I was shocked because typically big artists don't come here," said Melissa Smith, who was ready to get Zac Brown tickets when they went on sale Friday.

Vogt says a lot of research goes into booking events, not to over saturate the market. She says Broadway acts like Wicked, Lion King, and Amy Grant and Vince Gill helped put Richmond on the map. Even though it's considered a secondary market, concert promoters see Richmond as a perfect venue between Raleigh and D.C. These performances also help amplify the economy.

"That's tremendous," said Vogt. "They stay a couple nights, maybe go to the museum. Really it's not just the show. It's everything."

Vogt says the more acts that can fill these seats, the more money the city has to make upgrades. Some recent changes to the 40 year old coliseum include improvements to the seats, roof, and bathrooms.  Vogt would still like to see the facility used more than roughly 100 days a year.

"To me, as a building manager, if you don't have an event 365 days a year, it's underutilized," Vogt added.

In the meantime, staff will continue to attract performers to fill all three venues.

The managing company says it'll announce the next big Broadway shows coming through right around the time Lion King starts which be February 15th.

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