Should it stay or should it go?

Published 10:50 am Monday, November 14, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

One of my very first concerts was at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre when I was a child. I loved the environment, and I have been blessed to attend several concerts as a part of my job here.

Most recently, I went to One Republic at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Need to Breathe opened for the band, and I can only describe the environment as electric. When I was about 18, some artists played a free show at the “Just Show Up Show” where you attended the concert at no cost.

Band AJR was there and artists like Bebe Rexha were present, and they played this show before they had truly catapulted into the mega-popstar sensations that they are today. I felt that because I had attended this show I was able to boast, “I liked them before they were cool.”

I will always hold my experiences here in high regards. I have always been a feign of pop culture, consuming as much popular culture as I can, and that includes bands and musical artist.

When I was in my early teen years, I attended many concerts at the BJCC my personal favorite being Justin Bieber and The Jonas Brothers. It made my small fangirl heart very happy.

I believe venues like the BJCC will always be an important venue in Alabama that has homed some of the biggest celebrities and artists, but the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre has always been something for the county.

The Amphitheatre also has a very homey vibe to it when listening to your favorite artists. When I was covering the One Republic concert, one of the band members of Need to Breathe walked into the crowd giving high-fives out to fans (myself included in that honorable high five) and then walked back to the stage.

This type of one-on-one interaction and experience seems very specific to the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, and it is very special.

Birmingham continues to grow its scene of entertainment, food and becoming a trendier spot. I love showing my friends around and discovering different sights with them. The BJCC will always be a staple in Alabama I believe.

However, there is something sort of special about having our own entertainment venue in Shelby County and more specifically, in Pelham. All throughout college, when someone would ask me where I was from originally, I would say Birmingham.

Rarely, if ever, did I say I was from Pelham. It felt too small and as though people from out-of-state wouldn’t even be aware Pelham existed. I always said I was from Birmingham, but entertainment avenues like the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre give Pelham more of a name and veer away from the small-town narrative in some ways.

I think Pelham can exist in whatever atmosphere it wants to, whether that be big or small. It is a great place to reside, but places like Oak Mountain aid in expanding the area and making it a little more well known.

There is a lot of talk about the fate of the Amphitheatre, but I believe many individuals in and around the are hoping to see it stay. Perhaps Oak Mountain Amphitheatre will be here to stay.