Drawing a crowd

Nesbitt's Stargazer Amphitheatre
has growing support for concerts

Molly Hatchet, Marshall Tucker
among the star bands to play there

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

MADISON, Ind. (August 2004) – Stargazer Amphitheatre, the dream project of brothers Richard and Glen Nesbitt, has come a long way in the 10 months since its grand opening last September. Nationally acclaimed entertainers, including country music singer Chely Wright and Southern rock group the Marshall Tucker Band, have been among those to grace the stage of the outdoor venue located on Clifty Drive in Madison, Ind.
The open-air facility features four acres of seating, enough to accommodate 3,000 people for each show. And so far, “all of the concerts have been wonderful,” said Richard Nesbitt.

Photo by Don Ward

Richard Nesbitt is pleased with his theater's success.

Despite booking several well-known artists, getting Stargazer off the ground has been a challenge, Nesbitt admitted. He has been shouldering the responsibility of the business on his own since Glen Nesbitt moved to Florida in June.
“It’s definitely been tough, just getting the acts in and getting people to show up,” said Nesbitt. “But I’m a person who doesn’t give up,” he said, quoting the business motto: come feel the power of a dream.
To spread the word to others about his dream, Nesbitt said he has been advertising Stargazer in 20 area counties. But it’s the hometown crowd he really hopes will turn out for shows. “They just need to come see it for themselves,” he said. “We guarantee once they get here they’re going to have a good time.”
Attracting the largest crowd to the venue was the June 26 performance of the Marshall Tucker Band, which since its first release in 1973 has produced seven gold and three platinum albums.
In July, Nesbitt was busy preparing for Molly Hatchet, scheduled to take the stage at 7 p.m. July 31. The popular 1970s-era southern rock band included Madison in its 25th Anniversary Tour.
“It’s pretty nice, these guys doing this. There’s nothing to do around here, especially for teenagers. They just cruise around.” said Hanover, Ind., resident Tammy Caldwell, who stopped by Stargazer on July 23 to buy tickets for the Molly Hatchet concert.
Nesbitt said he will book concerts May through October. He also plans to hold special events at other times of the year, including Halloween and Christmas. In December, he hopes to host a Christmas tree lighting event, with proceeds going to local charities.
On Aug. 7, Stargazer will play host to a Summer Rock Fest. The all-day event will feature 10 regional bands. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the show. Seating is open and concert goers should bring lawn chairs. Tents will be erected in the event of rain. Concessions, including beer, soft drinks, hot dogs, nacho’s and Chicago’s Pizza are available at all events.

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