Florida Strawberry Festival building new, bigger concert venue

Published March 22, 2017

Get ready for big changes to the concerts at the 2018 Florida Strawberry Festival.

The bleachers of Schneider Memorial Stadium on the festival fairgrounds -- home this year to concerts by Willie Nelson, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts and more -- are being torn down to make room for a much larger and more modern venue, including aluminum seating.

"We're adding an extra 2,000 sellable seats," general manager Paul Davis said. "We've been discussing this for about eight years.

"We've been playing a music venue in a football stadium," Davis added. "The bleachers are sideways. After watching a concert for an hour and a half, your neck hurts. We're going to give people a better line of sight."

The new seats will additionally be brought closer to the stage, ending where the existing bleachers begin. The new seats will have backs to them and will form a semi-circle around the stage, creating more room and, as Davis said, enhancing the experience for both concert guests and performers.

"We're also going to be adding bigger screens," Davis said. "We're trying to enhance the experience substantially."

For more on the Strawberry Festival's expansion, click here for Emily Topper's story.