If you were hoping to crowd surf at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre this summer, you’ll have to relive your youth elsewhere, or maybe buy a Corvette or something.

The historic Alpine Valley, which has hosted everyone from the Grateful Dead to Springsteen to Pearl Jam, is closing for the 2017 season.

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Live Nation, which manages the East Troy, Wis. theatre decided to close for the 40th anniversary season because acts are opting to play at stadiums and other bigger stages, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Attendance at the amphitheater has been dwindling the last few years. In 2015, there were only two concerts held there the entire season. One show, a big hip-hop event, was nixed altogether. The cancellation was likely due to poor ticket sales.

Live Nation says Alpine Valley staff will spend this season making upgrades, including roof repairs, putting in new concessions equipment and implementing other changes. Theatre managers say they will also be preparing for 2018.

Over the course of four decades, many musicians loved to perform at the 27,100-capacity amphitheater. The Dead played there 20 times between 1980 and 1989, the newspaper reported. Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, the Rolling Stones, Metallica, Phish, the Who and Coldplay put on memorable shows at Alpine Valley.

In 1990, Stevie Ray Vaughn and four others were killed right after playing Alpine Valley when their helicopter crashed into a ski hill. The newly-sober, 35-year-old Vaughn’s performance at the amphitheater that night is said to have been among the best of his career.

Maggie O'Brien

Maggie O'Brien

Maggie O'Brien has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She's covered everything from from crime to politics to fitness. Writing about bands and shows takes her back to the days of going to punk rock shows in the Midwest.
Maggie O'Brien

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