There were a lot of big hopes for Black Oak.
“My vision here is for this place to be the best place in the Ozarks to see a live show,” said Steven White, manager of Black Oak Mountain Amphitheater, during an interview with KY3 News in May 2010.
In May 2010, our news crew went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the venue under reconstruction.
Bringing the place back after being closed for a decade took a year’s worth of sawing and hammering. Those sounds were eventually replaced with the beats of some of the biggest bands in the business.
“I try to put together a lineup so people don't have to go to Kansas City or St. Louis to see a great show,” White said.
The amphitheater was able to draw some big names, like Trace Adkins, Tim McGraw, Lynard Skynard, and Journey. In 2010 there were 12 concerts but, during this year's concert season, only four acts were booked. That was hardly what management was hoping for.
“They did bring in the right type of entertainment last year. But it is just a matter of consistently bringing in the right entertainment to make that things work,” explained Dave Liebenow, executive director of the Table Rock Lake Chamber of Commerce.
Now, after just four seasons, things are silent again. The gates locked and the place is for sale.
The decision to shut down seems to be a sudden one. The venue’s website and Facebook page make no mention of the closing. Nobody at the box office answered the phone or returned our messages.
Local business leaders now have hope for yet another new lease on life for the facility.
“I truly believe there is a great opportunity for somebody to come in and take that property over,” Liebenow said.
That somebody would have to drum up $3.7 million, the asking price for the stage, the stands, and everything else on the property.
“I would like to think that we are very positive in having it turn around. That will be a focus for us going forward is trying,” Liebenow said.