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Everything you need to know about this outdoor concert season in Indianapolis

The weather's warming, pandemic regulations have eased, and it's shaping up to be the hottest spring and summer concert season in Indianapolis.
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Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 12:50:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Outdoor music venues in and around Indianapolis just keep adding shows to an already epic concert season.

As we all remain hopeful the worst of the pandemic is behind us, both artists and venues are ready to get back to in-person performances nationwide, and the 2022 concert season is shaping up to be record-breaking.

Live Nation has also made a call out looking to fill multiple positions at Ruoff Music Center, the TCU Amphitheater, and Old National Centre to keep up with the significant concert season.

Several new outdoor venues in Indianapolis opened during the last two years of the pandemic, including The Alley, the Taggart Memorial Amphitheater, a renewed TCU Amphitheater, HI-FI Annex, and just outside of Indianapolis, in Greenfield, The Depot Street Park. Plus, a music festival is kicking off its inaugural weekend at Garfield Park this summer.

In short: There are plenty of new spaces and events to see around Indy that you may have missed in the last two years while remaining lowkey.

In the return of live music, COVID-19 protocols have varied by the venue, artist, and even governing bodies within just the last year.

Below, you can find out how local venues are handling their lineup of shows pertaining to the pandemic. Also, learn what to expect at each space as the weather warms up.

TCU Amphitheater

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The TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park will open in June 2021.

The biggest year yet for the TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park kicks off on April 30.

The new downtown amphitheater has an artistic canopy covering the stage, 2,500 seats, and LED video boards. The TCU Amphitheater can hold 6,000 people, with 3,500 general admission lawn seats.

Live Nation operates the TCU Amphitheater and has jam-packed its calendar this spring, summer, and fall that continues to grow. Music lovers can catch artists like H.E.R., Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow, Big Time Rush, Dierks Bentley, and more on its 35 currently-scheduled show lineup.

According to Live Nation's website, some concerts will require a "Health Check," and others will not. When purchasing a ticket, folks may be prompted with a "Health Check Required" notice, which means the artist has asked concertgoers to wear a mask, show proof of full vaccination, or provide a negative COVID-19 test.

HIFI Annex

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HIFI Annex in 2021.

Fountain Square's HI-FI Annex kicks off its 2022 season on April 23 with a show by Dizgo and Kick The Cat.

HI-FI, the HI-FI Annex, and its LO-FI Lounge leave COVID-19 requirements up to the direction of the artist or event organizer.

With the exception of a handful, most of the shows at the HI-FI Annex will not have any COVID-19 regulations for concert-goers. Of the few that require a health check, a couple of acts currently require masks to be worn, and others need proof of complete vaccination or negative COVID-19 test.

One of the many benefits of heading to a show at the Annex is it permits concert-goers to bring in food from local restaurants and offers picnic tables.

The Alley at Library Square

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The Cabaret opened a new outdoor space for live music events in the summer of 2021 called "The Alley."

The Cabaret's "The Alley Series" is coming up on its second season of live performances set in the alley outside its building, located at 924 N. Pennsylvania St.

All six performances at "The Alley" this summer are on Fridays and are free to attend. Although event organizers are still finalizing the artists, the show dates are June 10, June 17, June 24, July 1, August 5, and September 2. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and begin at 7 p.m.

The Cabaret plans to announce the full lineup on April 25. According to a spokesperson for The Cabaret, Marrialle Sellars, a Top 20 “American Idol” competitor in 2014, is one of the artists set to perform at The Allery this summer.

According to The Cabaret, there are no vaccination, testing, or masking requirements for those seeking to attend a showing at The Alley.

Holliday Park

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Holliday Park

It's Rock The Ruins season.

Holliday Park's Rock The Ruins is back on June 3 with a stellar lineup of artists, including Counting Crows, Lake Street Dive, Amos Lee, and Leann Rimes. The showrunners, The Vogue and Forty5 Present, state there are more performances to be added to its already packed schedule.

A spokesperson for The Vogue says it will allow artists and tour managers to implement any restrictions or precautionary measures for their shows at The Vogue and Rock The Ruins. They added the venue will continue to follow guidelines laid out by Marion County.

Garfield Park

The summer concert and movie series at Garfield Park are still being finalized. However, one of the most notable events in the city this summer will occur at this park.

The "WonderRoad" music festival has a diverse lineup of nearly 30 bands and artists slated to perform on June 11 and 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Headliners include Vampire Weekend, Lord Huron, Bastille, Milky Chance, Bishop Briggs, and Taylor Bennett.

Aside from a steady flow of concert performances, Elevation Festivals says there will also be art, food, and drink.

According to the WonderRoad website, there are no particular entry requirements, and this will be confirmed closer to festival weekend.

In an interview with WRTV after the festival's announcement, Denny Young, the president of Elevation Festivals, shared that "WonderStruck in Cleveland" and "WonderBus Music & Arts Festival" in Colombus, Ohio last summer had more than 50,000 people between the two and everything ran smoothly.

"We did on-site testing. We did on-site vaccinations, and we did not have a single issue (related to the) pandemic, COVID-19 or other," Young said.

Back 9 Golf & Entertainment

With golf, live music, a beer garden, restaurant, and bar, Back 9 Golf & Entertainment dubs itself as downtown Indy's "fourth stadium."

Back 9's founders say the multi-use development will be open sometime in June. The new 58,500 square-foot entertainment venue will include a 550-seat music pavilion where the venue plans to host weekly live performances, including a lineup of Indianapolis-based artists.

Back 9 says it is still finalizing its lineup of artists. WRTV will update this article with an update as it becomes available.

Just outside of Indy

Nickel Plate District Amphitheater

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Houndmouth will play at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in Fishers on Saturday, Jun. 18, 2022.

The Nickel Plate District Amphitheater's first show to kick off its summer concert series will be on June 18, with a performance by Houndmouth.

The Fishers amphitheater hosts "Community Concerts" with local and regional performers every Tuesday night during June and July. Although its Community Concerts lineup for 2022 has yet to be announced, the 10th Annual Fishers Blues Fest hosted at the NPD Amphitheater will be held this fall on September 2 and 3.

According to a spokesperson for the City of Fishers, there are currently no COVID-19 restrictions at any Nickel Plate locations, including the Amphitheater.

Ruoff Music Center

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This summer, there are nearly 40 concerts and live events lined up for Ruoff Music Center.

Starting with Kenny Chesney on May 5 and wrapping up the season with Matchbox Twenty on August 5, some of the most famous names in music are set to hit the stage. Phish will be performing three days in a row, The Chicks are making a stop, the Dave Mattews Band will be performing two consecutive nights and more.

Since Ruoff is a Live Nation venue, the same entrance requirements at the TCU Amphitheater apply here. Health Checks are contingent upon the artist and may vary by the event organizer. For instance, some performers may require all those who enter to wear a mask or prove full vaccination state or a negative COVID-19 test.

As of this initial article, almost every concert will require a health check.

The Depot Street Park

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The Depot Street Park, connected to the Pennsy Trail, has an amphitheater where live performances are scheduled to take place beginning summer 2022.

Right off of the Pennsy Trail, The Depot Street Park sits on 1.3 acres. Although The Depot Street Park is working to finalize its lineup of concerts and events, event organizers tell WRTV, one of the winners of NBC's "The Voice" will be performing at the theater for July 4.

The city has posted a list of dates for concerts and events at The Depot Street Park you can find here.

WRTV Digital Reporter Shakkira Harris can be reached at shakkira.harris@wrtv.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @shakkirasays.