Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Unveils Design for Fully Renovated State of the Art Venue

Apr 02 2024

On May 1, the future of Ponte Vedra Concert Hall takes shape as renovations for a transformed music venue kick off, signaling a pivotal moment for live entertainment in North Florida. The finalized plans promise a renewed space, with the anticipation of completion in early 2025.

Designed by the architecture and interior design firm Fisher Koppenhafer, expansion plans for Ponte Vedra Concert Hall include a second-floor balcony with seating and an outdoor terrace, as well as stadium-style seating on the first floor to offer more flexible seated and standing configurations for the 100+ shows per year. Additional venue enhancements include wider seating, new projection and audio systems, modernized restrooms, a multi-use room for special events and meetings, an onsite merchandise shop, elevated concessions amenities, and more.

Originally built in 1980, the Concert Hall’s building was home to New Beginnings Baptist Church until St. Johns County purchased the building and adjacent properties in 2006. Retrofitting a former Baptist Church into a live music venue involved meticulous planning and phased construction. Phase One saw the installation of electrical, plumbing, seating, lighting, and sound systems. While Phase Two included the construction of a second-floor seated balcony, circumstances led to the phase being postponed and the second floor was sealed off to the public.

On February 13, 2011, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall marked its inaugural performance with Canadian folk-rock band Great Big Sea. Throughout its 13-year history, the venue has undergone several enhancements, including the installation of new lighting, and upgraded sound systems, improved artist facilities, and the addition of an outdoor terrace. Majority of these improvements were made possible through the support of The Friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (FOPVCH), a non-profit organization composed of local residents dedicated to fostering community engagement and financial investment through advocacy and action.

In 2022, FOPVCH was again instrumental in advocating for the Concert Hall when they launched the ‘Elevate’ campaign, reviving the dream of a second-floor balcony. Spearheaded by FOPVCH in partnership with SJC Cultural Events, Inc. (formerly known as St. Johns County Cultural Events Division), the campaign for the balcony gained momentum and culminated on June 23, 2022, with the unanimous approval of $5.4 million in funding by the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners. The FOPVCH and SJC Cultural Events, Inc. (SJCCE) partnership not only facilitated construction of the balcony but also secured additional funds to complete a comprehensive renovation of the 40-year-old structure. While owned by the county, the Concert Hall’s renovation will not impact St. Johns County residents' ad valorem tax dollars. Nevertheless, the project's direct economic impact is expected to benefit the county for years to come.

"This project has been envisioned for 13 years and we are delighted to see the dream for our beloved Concert Hall become a reality," said Jerry Wilson, President of Friends of Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. "I deeply appreciate the dedication of our all-volunteer Board of Directors, Advisory Council, PVCH volunteers, and members of the Friends of Ponte Vedra Concert Hall who have seen the true power of live music. I'd also like to acknowledge the support of our five County Commissioners, County Administration, and SJCCE management as we collectively embark on this journey to elevate the cultural experience in St. Johns County."

Since the Concert Hall opened in 2011, over 300,000 music enthusiasts have come to see 484 unique acts perform, with many artists playing the venue multiple times throughout their career. The venue has hosted some of the biggest names in live entertainment, including Graham Nash, Art Garfunkel, Lindsay Buckingham, Wynona Judd, The Zombies, Dr. John, in addition to emerging artists such as country-blues singer Charley Crockett and soulful bass-guitarist Thundercat. Renowned comedians like Kathleen Madigan, Rob Schneider and Pete Davidson have also performed at the Concert Hall. The Concert Hall has a robust April lineup with The Wallflowers on April 24 and The Dixie Dregs on April 25 punctuating the run before the venue’s temporary closing on May 1.

"For quite some time, we've recognized the vast potential of Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, explains Gabriel Pellicer, CEO & President of SJC Cultural Events, Inc. “Collectively, we’ve been committed to enhancing every aspect of our operation, aiming for an unparalleled experience for both artists and patrons. We are appreciative to everyone who has contributed to this journey over the years. This achievement is a win for the entire St. Johns County community."

With the design plans now finalized, renovations are set to begin on May 1. Upon completion, the venue will provide an unrivaled concert experience for both music enthusiasts and performers. The prospect of hosting more headliners in this intimate space is expected to increase tenfold. The public is invited to track the renovation's progress by visiting https://www.pvconcerthall.com/venue-info/news-media.