Fun, friendly and phenomenal entertainment are only a few of the many reasons why we love New Orleans. It’s no question that our city is among the country’s favorite hubs for concerts and music festivals, becoming even more accommodating to the increasing population, influx of guests, and year-round events. I had the honor of speaking with Russell Doussan, president of Live Nation New Orleans, who gave a promising preview of the concerts this year in Champions Square.
Growing up living the sheltered life that only a naïve, private school child can, I had to admit that I haven’t been to many concerts, including a concert in Champions Square, which provoked the question: of all the venues in New Orleans, what makes Champions Square stand out? The answer is simple. Champions Square is one of the many venues across the nation that Doussan calls a “boutique amphitheater,” simply meaning that these open-air venues are designed to cater to guests in every way possible. Doussan and the Live Nation team have transformed the Square to create the most convenient and comfortable concert experience for their audience.
Imagine an outdoor concert during a Louisiana summer at a venue like City Park or the Fair Grounds. One can only picture sweltering heat, itchy grass, and sweat stains that ruin your clothes. Champions Square eliminates these First World problems. Nestled in between Benson Tower and the Superdome, Champions Square creates a cool, breezy atmosphere perfect for a daytime outdoor concert. At its fullest capacity, around 8,500, the venue feels satisfyingly full without seeming too congested. The Square is also made completely of concrete, so there’s no need to worry about ruining your shoes in the mud if it happens to rain or drizzle. Within walking distance of some of the best restaurants and bars in the state such as Borgne and Willa Jean, Champions Square offers everything an adventure-seeking concert-goer could hope for. Once you enter the venue, there are a variety of options to choose from for libations during the event.
Although daytime concerts in the Square are shady and beautiful, the venue does not truly come to life until the sun goes down. The seasonally changing, multi-colored lights that illuminate the Superdome, combined with the orangey haze of a Southern sunset create an intoxicating backdrop for a New Orleans evening concert. At night, Champions Square casts a breathtaking ambiance that puts even the biggest performers at a loss for words. Doussan recalled the time in 2014 when Lana Del Rey appeared as the featured performer for the Champions Square coming-out party.
“When she first stepped onto the stage in the Square, her reaction was ‘Oh my God. Wow,’” he related.
The amenities that Champions Square has to offer are some of the best of any New Orleans concert venue. The luxurious Club XLIV is an exclusive lounge located in the heart of the venue with an entrance adjacent to the stage. In the lounge, guests can enjoy amenities including modern furniture, illuminated bars, specialty lighting, and state-of-the-art audio/visual technology
Only a few steps and a sliding door away from Club XLIV is Encore, a plush space for guests to enjoy the concert with the comfort of being indoors with luxurious seating. At 18,000 square feet of space, Encore is able to accommodate over 1,000 patrons to allow the ultimate concert experience.
Along with Club XLIV and Encore, Champions Square provides the Opening Act, yet another indoor seating. Made up of about 12,000 square feet of comfortable space, Opening Act offers delicious food and beverages for purchase and a great view of the ongoing concert outside, all in a uniquely-themed, high-tech atmosphere to ensure the best concert experience.
For those who prefer to delight in the best that Champions Square has to offer, Live Nation guarantees VIP guests the ultimate “rock star” experience by providing a plethora of VIP amenities. VIPs can look forward to reserved box seating, complimentary parking, exclusive access to Club XLIV, a full-service premium bar, private restrooms, in-seat cocktail service, and a VIP venue entrance.
This year, Champions Square will hold 14 concerts, 10 to 11 of which are confirmed, including Bastille, Train with OAR, Third Eye Blind with Silver Set, Muse with 30 Seconds to Mars, Incubus with Jimmy Eat World, Future, as well as more to come.