MSO strikes deal with FPC Live to book concerts at Bradley Symphony Center

The balcony of the symphony center’s 1,650-seat Allen-Bradley Hall. (Photo credit: Scott Paulus)

Last updated on October 7th, 2022 at 12:12 pm

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra has entered into an agreement with Madison-based concert promoter FPC Live to bring additional live shows to the Bradley Symphony Center in downtown Milwaukee.

“The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is excited to partner with FPC Live as we continue to deliver on our promise to the Milwaukee community to activate the Bradley Symphony Center as a venue for additional live entertainment offerings,” Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, said in a news release Friday.

The agreement between MSO and FPC Live is not exclusive. Other concert promoters, such as Milwaukee-based Pabst Theater Group, can also book shows at the Bradley Symphony Center. PTG was first to host a touring show there, booking singer-songwriter and pianist Tory Amos. The May 2022 show was one of two live events PTG has brought to the venue since it opened in spring 2021, said PTG president and CEO Gary Witt.

The announcement marks the latest move by FPC Live parent company, Madison-based Frank Productions, to strengthen its presence in the Milwaukee market. Frank Productions, which is majority owned by Beverly Hills, California-based entertainment giant Live Nation, is the developer behind the controversial $50 million concert venue complex proposed for the Deer District.

Under FPC Live’s proposal, two concert venues – one with a capacity of 4,000 and the other with a capacity for 800 – would be built in the northeast section of the former Bradley Center site, south of Fiserv Forum. Despite opposition from existing Milwaukee concert venue operators, the project cleared its first governmental hurdle Monday evening, winning a 3-2 recommendation from Milwaukee’s Plan Commission.

The new agreement between FPC Live and the Milwaukee Symphony is effective immediately. Information about upcoming shows will be available through the groups’ social media pages and websites, according to the release.

Located at at 212 W. Wisconsin Ave., the Bradley Symphony Center opened last spring following the $89 million project to transform the former Warner Grand Theatre – built in 1930 as an opulent movie theater and closed in 1995 – into the new home of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The project created an stunning facility and a new cultural gem for Milwaukee. It also adds to the revitalization of the west side of downtown Milwaukee.

Charlie Goldstone, co-president of FPC Live, called the venue “an acoustical marvel” and pointed to its “unmatched backstage amenities” as a huge selling point for artists.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring shows to this stunning world class theatre,” said Scott Leslie, co-president of FPC Live. “We believe in promoting shows in venues of all scopes and sizes in every city in which we operate, and this announcement highlights our continuing investment into the Milwaukee concert scene.”

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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