YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Y-Live concert is Youngstown’s event of the summer, and this year’s announcement was surprising for where it will be held more so than who will be performing.
We don’t want to downplay the who — Luke Bryan in concert on July 16 is a huge deal. But the Y-Live venue is changing from Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium to the little-known Wean Park. Why?
Y-Live promoter and President of JAC Management Eric Ryan explained how the Luke Bryan concert will be laid out using Wean Park.
“OK, the stage will be back in our new parking lot and back in the very back, and it’ll be angled a little bit coming out this way,” he said.
Luke Bryan will play Wean Park on Saturday, July 16. He had committed to play Y-Live the past two years but COVID-19 got in the way.
“Thankfully, they continued to want to play Youngstown. They’re not playing Cleveland, they’re not playing Pittsburgh. One of the largest artists in the world can sell out stadiums all over the country and they’re going to play downtown Youngstown. So it’s pretty cool,” Ryan said. “This is big for Northeast Ohio.”
In 2018, Florida Georgia Line filled Stambaugh Stadium, where the three previous Y-Live concerts had been held. But this year, YSU backed out.
“They’ve had some staffing cutbacks since COVID-19 and so just budgetary reasons,” Ryan said.
Wean Park is the green space between the Covelli Centre and the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre. It’s highlighted by the “Youngstown” sign. It was Ryan who first suggested Y-Live be moved there.
“My staff told me about 1,000 times I was out of my mind,” Ryan said. “Once we put pen to paper, it totally made sense.”
Close to the stage will be 10,000 reserved seats and behind it, lawn seating will extend almost to the Market Street Bridge. The only challenge was figuring out parking.
“YSU came to us and said we could use their parking as the auxiliary parking, which is fantastic,” Ryan said.
Why not use the new amphitheater? Well, it’s not big enough for a Luke Bryan concert.
“I mean, the amphitheater only fits 6,000 people. We’re thinking 15,000 plus for this. So yeah, just not enough seats in the amphitheater. Not enough seats at the Covelli Centre,” Ryan said.
Ryan added that if those high-tension power lines being proposed by FirstEnergy were already up, Luke Bryan would not be playing Wean Park because the lines would be in the way.