A little-known treasure sits not far from Sedalia; the Ozarks Amphitheatre in Camdenton can seat up to 10,000 people and is now in its third year of new ownership and entertainment.
Mike Flaherty, one of three managing partners, said the facility opened in 1993 and went through other ownerships. He noted that during that time it was used approximately five times. Flaherty co-owns the amphitheatre with Bill Carle (principal owner) and Robert Mein. The men purchased it in 2015.
“We’ve done some renovation and we reopened it in 2015,” he added. “It was closed for such a long period of time that it had kind of fallen off the radar, but it’s a beautiful facility. It was well built in 1993 by a large church organization and that organization that they had set up to operate the amphitheater went bankrupt. It’s only been sporadically opened probably five times until we purchased it in 2015.”
Three shows are already set for this year. The amphitheatre will kick off the season with Dwight Yoakam on May 28, followed by Get the Lead Out, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, on Aug. 26, and Aaron Tippin on Sept. 23.
According to a press release from Ozarks Amphitheater, Yoakam will perform on Memorial Day weekend.
“The versatile Yoakam is a country music fan-favorite, as a singer, songwriter and also as a film actor,” the release states. “His most recent album, ‘Swimmin’ Pools, Movie Stars,’ adds Bluegrass to his repertoire.”
Frankie Ballard will open the show. Ballard is well-known for his “Sunshine and Whiskey” album, featuring “Young and Crazy.”
“We will add two additional shows next week and we hope to announce another two shows later this month or early next month,” Flaherty said.
He added that Get the Lead Out played at the amphitheatre in 2015 and was received well. They will play “during the weekend of the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout, the largest unsanctioned boat race in the United States.”
“They are a great tribute band to Led Zeppelin and we have Aaron Tippin in September,” he said. “He had advertised himself as the hardest working man in country music.”
The media release states that Tippin “brings his blue collar and patriotic-themed music to Ozarks in conjunction with the Lake of the Ozarks Air Show.”
Flaherty said the amphitheater seats up to 10,000. At present they are using 5,200 seats and seeing crowds of 1,000 to 3,000. He hopes as word spreads to see the audience numbers climb.
“We’re hoping to increase that (number) a little this year with the names we’re bringing in,” he said.
The amphitheater is easy to locate and is right off state Route 5.
“Which is the relatively new highway that was built back in the early 2000s,” he said. “We’re just a quarter mile off the Pier 31 exit which is also the same exit as Bridal Cave … toward Camdenton.”
For more information about the Ozarks Amphitheater, 2629 N. Business Route 5 in Camdenton, visit ozarksamp.com or www.facebook.com/lakeozarksamphitheater. Tickets are now on sale for upcoming shows on the website or by calling 573-346-0000.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or on Twitter @flbemiss.