The highly customizable Yonder Field in Bowman, South Carolina promises to be the next great space for promoters looking to tailor a site to their tour’s needs. The 218 acres of lush green land will supply a large market of almost five million residents with an outdoor venue that can cater to massive headliners, one-off shows, and festivals. With multiple mobile stages and the scalability to hold up to 30,000, Yonder Field will be able to offer an expansive and flexible venue for a market that often gets overlooked by larger tours.
“Yonder Field speaks to what the venue is,” President and General Manager of Yonder Field Stacie White told Amplify. “It’s not a traditional amphitheater. There’s no bandshell, there’s no parking lots. It’s all about the beauty of the surroundings and the state of South Carolina. And it is about being able to provide this great outdoor experience that you don’t necessarily get in a traditional amphitheater, but you do get at a festival.”
The concourse, designed by William Roquemore who is the landscape architect for four Disney World golf courses, will feature several scenic ponds and has a tree-lined creek splitting the layout for two main stages. Local artists will provide murals for the field and handle merchandise and posters for the venue and its events, immersing itself in South Carolina culture.
“It is in a very rural setting, but that’s part of the beauty of it. It lets people feel like they have left their life behind and it is very immersive,” White added.
Attendees will be treated to open air beer and wine pavilion on an elevated plot with a perfect view of the main stage and access to 20 food vendors from local restaurants and a food truck village for larger events.
Yonder has the ability to adjust to specific layouts, but the primary configuration for the field features two stages. Their main stage will have an enclosed GA standing pit for 5,000 with room for an additional 24,000 people around it and a VIP grandstand for 500.
“That 24,000 people is at 14-sq. ft. per person which is ridiculously unheard of in the amphitheater space to allow an individual that much square footage. Having that kind of space is a luxury and gives people the ability to cater the experience to what they want it to be,” White, who owns the land, said. “If they want to be up close that’s great. If not, we’ll have great video and delay towers and they can spread a blanket out and sit next to all their friends.”
“In front of the grandstand we have these two luxury cabins that have rooftop viewing decks,” White described. “It feels like an intimate suite and you can stand on top of it and get a huge aerial view of the stage, but you still feel like you’re in your own kind of suite.”
“We have the capability of expanding that number of cabins based on the demand,” Senior Vice President of Booking Judi Ludovico told Amplify. “In an arena they can only build so many suites, but here we can put in as many luxury cabins as needed.”
Their second stage, the Tailgate Stage, will be smaller and more mobile than their main stage with the capacity for 7,000 guests. For tailgate shows, Yonder Fields will open earlier in the day to allow attendees to park and relax for the afternoon before they open for the main event in the evening. The flexibility of the multiple mobile stages allows for Yonder to reconfigure for every type of live performance and scale depending on ticket sales.
“It’s a very unique flexibility for booking,” White explained. “If an artist sells 15,000 tickets, they can go over to the main stage or they can stay on the tailgate stage. The artist doesn’t have to go to a second night. They can just move to the bigger stage.”
Everything at Yonder is temporary infrastructure, giving the venue the ability to accommodate various events. It allows producers to come in at a lower cost structure since Yonder provides stages and other necessities that would typically need to be rented from a third party when hosting an event at other open spaces.
White, who has over 20 years of experience in event management, championed the flexibility of the new venue which can be laid out and rearranged per event.
What flexible infrastructure “does in terms of opening us up to the festival market is we can just tell a producer or a promoter ‘We have three stages on sight already, where do you want them? This is our inventory of tents, where do you want them? These are our cabins and offices, where do you want them?'” White said. “It allows us to offer a very turn-key option for a festival producer.”
The land also offers ample space for camping. Any event, festival or otherwise, will have the ability to provide overnight accommodations for 3,000 cars and thousands of attendees.
“We’re offering camping after a one-off show,” White said, adding “with a very generous amount of real estate” per vehicle.
With no noise ordinance in the rural setting, Yonder will provide additional entertainment after main acts and will have meal options such as backyard BBQs for overnight guests.
The camping aspect is an additional bonus to Yonder’s ideal location. Bowman, S.C. is situated halfway between Columbia and Charleston within almost five million residents within a two-hour driving distance.
“We are reaching Savannah and Augusta, GA. We’re close to Charlotte (N.C.) and Myrtle Beach (S.C.),” White explained. “Even though we’re in a pretty rural area this is the location we really need to grab the state and bring everybody in.”
Yonder’s acreage also lends itself to amenities for its performers. Their artist’s village is equipped with three two-bedroom log cabins with full kitchens and washers and dryers. Artists will have a separate lounge, an additional catering tent, room for three semis behind the main stage, and 100,000 sq. ft truck lot across the internal road giving the ability to park up to 40 buses or semis.
Yonder Field is under construction now with support from local partner SuperSod. SuperSod helped Yonder secure their plot of land, is assisting with the placement and maintenance of the greenery, and also offers an additional 305 acres of farm for Yonder’s larger events. The venue is expected to open in the Spring of 2017 with the season running until October.