This doesn't bode well: Concert conglomerate Live Nation "wants to lessen the company's dependence on its 52 amphitheaters around the country, which are out of vogue with concert-goers and ultimately offer few ways of making money beyond parking and concessions," The Wall Street Journal reports Friday in a story about how Live Nation is seeking to expand its business beyond concert promotion.
One of those amphitheaters, of course, is Dodge Music Center in Hartford, which Live Nation books (though the venue is owned by the city). It's no secret that amphitheaters are on the outs with concert-goers: I reported that a few years ago in a story about the rise of "destination festivals" such as Lollapalooza and Coachella. Part of the problem is a dwindling number of acts that can fill amphitheaters.
It's also no secret that Mohegan Sun has become Connecticut's powerhouse concert venue, hosting more shows in a given year than the Dodge and Hartford Civic Center combined.
How Live Nation's new growth strategy will affect Hartford isn't clear yet. Jim Koplik, president of Live Nation in Connecticut, told me a few years ago that "as long as the Dodge stays in Hartford, you'll get a strong summer season." But what if the Dodge doesn't stay in Hartford?