Attracting national acts: Nickel Plate District Amphitheater brings in two national, ticketed acts


After unveiling the renovated Nickel Plate District Amphitheater last summer, the City of Fishers learned some valuable lessons it plans to implement this year for marquee events.

Last year, the city experimented with charging admission when national musicians performed. Paid tickets were required for Manchester Orchestra and Houndmouth.

“It was kind of the entry point to offering shows that aren’t just free,” Parks and Recreation Director Sarah Sandquist said. “Admittedly, we had a couple challenges with the first show, which was rooted back to lack of signage. We have addressed the lack of enough bathrooms. It was really just a signage issue.”

The amphitheater has seven new restrooms in the pavilion building and renovated restrooms near the amphitheater along with portable restrooms.

“All of our concerts this year will have wayfinding and signage at the venue to help people orient themselves and direct where they need to go,” Sandquist said.

Another issue last year was long lines for alcohol and food vendors.

“We have selected some new vendors for those ticketed shows, specifically,” Sandquist said.
Four Day Ray Brewing will be this year’s beer and wine vendor.

Ticketed events, which have not yet been announced, will be offered again this year. Admission is $9.23, the same as last year’s price.

Mayor Scott Fadness said it costs more to attract national performers but added that the effort is “basically cost-neutral.” Costs are covered by ticket sales and sponsorships.

“Sara and her team do a good job of garnering sponsorships, and between sponsorships and the ticket fee, the city taxpayers are paying little to nothing,” Fadness said.

“We almost break even on ticketing shows,” Sandquist added. “The artist itself costs a little bit more, but with the small amount of revenue generated (from tickets), the (event) is covered additionally with sponsorships.”

Unlike last year, road closures will not take place and parking should be more convenient.

“We are excited this year there won’t be any road closures with the concerts or events at the Amp. There was last year. We also have new parking available in the police department garage,” Sandquist said. “We will have assistance from Rotary on Tuesday nights to help people on where to park. There’s lots of parking around, and in free, covered garages.”

Sandquist estimates there are approximately 1,000 parking spots near the amphitheater. She estimates approximately 3,500 people attend the concerts.

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Neighborhood noise complaints

With the Nickel Plate District AMpitheater concerts held in the heart of downtown Fishers, some residents aren’t fans of the noise.

“Occasionally, the apartment folks complain,” Mayor Scott Fadness said. “We try to be cognizant of that. Our concerts don’t go exceptionally late by any means, and part of that is you are living in an urban environment where lots of activities are.”

Most nights, the concerts wrap up by 10 p.m., but Sandquist said ticketed shows may run a little longer. This year, the Friday night concerts will begin at 8 p.m. in an effort to end earlier than previous years.

Spark!Fishers concert announced

Although admission is charged for most national acts in Fishers, the fee will be waived this summer for shows by Vertical Horizon and Tonic.

Vertical Horizon and Tonic will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. June 28 to kick off the two-day Spark!Fishers Fourth of July celebration.

Although the event is free, tickets are required for entry. The city will hand out 6,000 tickets at various locations prior to the event, including the farmers market. Last year, every ticket for the Fourth of July show was claimed.