Is Lubbock's music scene better than Amarillo's? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Is Lubbock's music scene better than Amarillo's?

AMARILLO - Lubbock announced Tuesday its plans to build a $85 million, 2,000 seater performing arts center, and some say that gives the Hub City another one-up on Amarillo's music scene.

From Bon Jovi to Taylor Swift or George Strait; If it's a big name, it's probably not a show playing in Amarillo.

Some fear Lubbock's new venue will detract even more performers from Amarillo venues, but Amarillo Civic Center Manager Sherman Bass doesn't think that's the case.

"There are a lot of acts that like to play here even though there's less tickets to sell," he said.

The Globe News Performing Arts Center seats 1,300, the Civic Center Auditorium 2,300, and the Coliseum from 5,000 to 7,000. But Lubbock's United Spirit Arena is bigger than all of those venues combined.

"Certainly it's a division on NCAA school playing basketball in that arena, so there are a lot of reasons to build one that size in Lubbock," Bass said.

But the lack of big name shows in Amarillo doesn't mean a lack of a music scene. One thing Amarillo has that Lubbock does not is Interstate 40 and Route 66.

"So that means we get bands from all over the world that come through, and it's all kinds of music including folk, rock, country, hip hop," an employee for Amarillo coffee shop and small music venue, The 806, Ash Mare said.

The 806 is just starting to slow down after a packed month of March when bands on their way to and from South by Southwestern in Austin, but at least once a week a traveling band books a show.

Mare says she and most of the customers at The 806 would love to have a music venue that caters to big names, but the unique music scene brought in by Amarillo's location makes up for not having one.

"We get those bands before they're big and you get to see them in such an intimate setting that it's an experience that you can take with you, and you don't feel cheated by spending $60 on a ticket and you're sitting a mile away," Mare said.

Lubbock does have the United Spirit Arena, most of the big name entertainers, and soon a performing arts venue twice as expensive as the Globe News Center. Whether that make their entertainment scene better though, is debatable.

"My question is why compare," said Amarillo Convention and Visitor Bureau Communications Director Eric Miller.
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