ZZ Top is just one of the bands scheduled to play the inaugural season of Nashville's Ascend Amphitheater
ZZ Top is just one of the bands scheduled to play the inaugural season of Nashville's Ascend Amphitheater
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images

For months now, Nashville area music fans have been watching the progress of their newest music venue, the city funded downtown amphitheater in Riverfront Park. Now they know not only a name but the first slate of artists set to perform for the 2015 season as Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Live Nation executive Bob Roux held a press conference today to announce that the new venue, named Ascend Amphitheater, will open on July 30 with an inaugural concert by Grammy winning country superstar Eric Church.

Since the closing of the 17,000 seat Starwood Amphitheater in 2006, Nashville's only dedicated outdoor music venue has been the Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel, a 4,500 seat venue that only hosts a dozen or so shows a year. Now, with partnership naming rights from Ascend Federal Credit Union, Nashville has a bigger summer tour destination. While not even halving the capacity of Starwood, the 6,800 seat Ascend Amphitheater does plan to boast a full slate of concerts and events from April to October starting next year. The deal with Live Nation allows up to 30 events per year with an additional six Symphony shows and up to 10 civic events including the 4th of July and New Years' Eve concert and fireworks show typically held in Riverfront Park.

For now, fans will have to get a shortened taste of the Ascend Amphitheater with a 21 show schedule that runs from Eric Church's July 30 show to the season closing set on Oct. 10 with Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and Lake Street Dive. The rest of the schedule boasts something for virtually every musical taste. From classic rock double bills Chicago and Earth, Wind, & Fire on Aug. 1 and Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick on Aug. 16 to jam friendly shows from Phish on Aug. 4 and a two-night stand from Widespread Panic on Sept. 5 & 6 to more modern rock package tours from the likes of Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson on Aug. 9 and the Under the Sun tour with Uncle Kracker and Sugar Ray.

The full 2015 Ascend Amphitheater lineup is as follows. Tickets to the Eric Church concert will go on sale Apr. 30.

7/30/15 Eric Church

8/1/15 Chicago & Earth Wind and Fire

8/4/15 Phish

8/5/15 Jill Scott

8/7/15 Counting Crows with Citizen Cope and Hollis Brown

8/8/15 Steely Dan with special guest Elvis Costello

8/9/15 The Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson

8/18/15 Sublime with Rome, Rebelution, Pepper and Mickey Avalon

8/14/15 NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb, and Colony House

8/15/15 Idina Menzel

8/16/15 Peter Frampton & Cheap Trick

8/22/15 Australian Pink Floyd with LedZeppelin2

8/28/15 Old Crow Medicine Show

8/29/15 Under The Sun Tour

9/1/15 ZZ Top with Blackberry Smoke

9/5/15 Widespread Panic

9/6/15 Widespread Panic

9/14/15 Daryl Hall and John Oates

10/2/15 Lynyrd Skynyrd

10/8/15 Chris Tomlin (in partnership with Awakening Events)

10/10/15 Grace Potter and the Nocturnals with Lake Street Dive(in partnership with NS2)