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Coves at Smith Mountain Lake reflects on successful first concert season

Outdoor concert venue reflects on first season opening amid COVID-19 pandemic
Outdoor concert venue reflects on first season opening amid COVID-19 pandemic(WDBJ)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A new concert venue just closed its first concert season.

WDBJ7′s Brittany Morgan visited the venue to learn more about its success despite opening during COVID.

Just this past spring, The Coves Amphitheater at Smith Mountain Lake didn’t even exist. But now, more than a dozen successful concerts later, they’ve wrapped their first season.

“It’s a beautiful piece of property,” says venue General Manager Gary Jackson.

Property that hosted Charles Esten, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Hornsby and so many more in its inaugural season.

“I had no idea when I left the Harvester last February that I was going to be here doing this,” he says. “It’s been extremely rewarding for me.”

Rewarding and successful. General Manager Gary Jackson says the Coves put on 15 outdoor concerts this year, all amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The venue combines music with nature as it sits at the edge of Smith Mountain Lake, intertwined with more than five miles of hiking trails that guests are encouraged to explore before the shows.

“Six months ago, there was nothing here. So we’ve done a lot in six months. We got a stage built. We put on some marvelous shows,” Jackson explains. “Now that the season is over, we’re about to make it even better. We’re going to landscape the hillside, we’re going to make accessibility a lot easier. We’re going to do a whole lighting scheme. Things to make it even more special for people coming to the shows.”

In reflecting on the success of the first season amid numerous challenges, Jackson credits his team.

“I had some of the most amazing volunteers and staff that really paid attention to detail and took care of people. Without all those wonderful gatekeepers and volunteers, it wouldn’t have happened the way it should have happened.”

Officials with The Coves say they are already planning their concert lineup for 2022.

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