When it comes to music and cultural epicenters in the United States, El Dorado, Arkansas isn’t typically at the forefront of peoples’ minds. The area in the south central part of the state, after all, has long been in decline since its 1920’s heyday as an oil boomtown and it doesn't have the music history of its regional neighbors like Memphis, New Orleans or even Muscle Shoals.
But starting Sept. 27, the city will open the Murphy Arts District (MAD), a $100 million dollar revitalization effort that kicks off with a five-day concert lineup featuring Brad Paisley, Migos, X Ambassadors, Smokey Robinson and ZZ Top, among others, throughout a six-block area that is in the process of being transformed. Other notable acts include Train, Ludacris and Lyle Lovett.
Led by Former Rock And Roll Hall of Fame President Terry Stewart and former House of Blues executive Dan Smith, the project will include the construction of a new 8,000-capacity amphitheater and a 2,000-seat music hall that was formerly an assembly center and showroom for the Ford Model T.
“Many industry people think I’m ‘MAD’ when I tell them about the El Dorado project,” Stewart said in a statement. “But it’s going to be the most important work of my career when one considers the lives that will be changed by the economic redevelopment and cultural infusion we are working to achieve."
For a full-lineup and tickets, head over to the Murphy Arts District website.