Finally! A (legitimate) music venue in College Park.

The Birchmere announced this week it has plans to open a new 500 seat music venue as part of the East Campus development in College Park. Although its not scheduled to open until 2011, the Birchmere will provide a much needed improvement to the College Park music scene.

While it may attract larger acts, the Birchmere will also cater to the local crowd. As part of the plan, it will operate a stage for up-and-coming artists in the D.C. area, and will partner with the University of Maryland’s School of Music to develop and nurture future performers.

The Birchmere has been open in Alexandria, Va. since the 1960’s, but its new location promises to draw many residents north of the District. The theater has been visited by acts such as Lyle Lovett, Shawn Colvin, Dave Matthews, and Emmylou Harris.

> See the University Press ReleaseĀ 

Published by

Evan Hauptmann

2007 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.

5 thoughts on “Finally! A (legitimate) music venue in College Park.”

  1. Wow, my jaw dropped when I read this! I had heard this as a rumor, but thought it was far from coming to fruition. What a WONDERFUL coup for the College Park music and arts scene and the community at-large! A 500-seat theatre — WOW!! I could not be more excited for our city and my university!

    Quotes from the press release:

    “We’re very excited about opening a venue in suburban Maryland, and couldn’t ask for better partners and a more ideal location,” said the Birchmere’s founder Gary Oelze. “We are very excited to have such a major player in the local music scene join us in creating a world-class, mixed-use center in College Park,” added Richard Perlmutter of Argo Investment Company.

    “Our goal with the East Campus development is to give the community more entertainment, retail and restaurant options, and the Birchmere will be a key part in this effort,” said Douglas M. Duncan, University of Maryland vice president for administrative affairs. “The opportunities for creative collaboration with the university and our students are limitless and we couldn’t be more excited about this.”

  2. Lovely, but beware. For several years when commuting twice weekly to the School of Rock in DT Silver Spring, I saw an ambitious sign near the RoundHouse Theater across from S. of Rock, saying:

    Future home of the Birchmere.

    Today, contracts are written so that parties may escape or change plans.

    Lots can happen between 2007 and 2011.

    RIP, soon, but death knell now for Chick Hall’s Surf Club: The last great place for real music in P.G.

  3. I know there is a pent up demand for people who would like to attend Birchmere events but don’t want to trek to NOVA. This would give people a reason to come to CP besides football/basketball game. Plus they would stay for dinner. This really is just the type of thing CP needs. I too am very excited by this.

  4. In my eyes, a cultural/arts scene is one thing that can quickly make College Park a legitimate city (Quickly being a relative term). It is something that is locally unique, and its potential tie to University students/up-coming acts seems to have unlimited possibilities.

  5. This is unbelievably big news. This second location of The Birchmere not only will liven up the College Park music scene, as indicated in the post. It will boost the entire DC region. Many live music afficionados consider The Birchmere in Virginia one of our area’s primary cultural attractions–right up there with the Washington Monument in some people’s estimation, seriously. Its only downfall ever has been that it was located so far away from many potential customers, and so I think that it makes a lot of sense to locate this long-talked about second location in College Park, close to the intersection of 95 and 495 and regionally opposite location one (which, by the way, is not in The Birchmere’s original location).

    The last concert I saw at The Birchmere was Livingston Taylor (James’ terrific brother), but they host amazing, affordable music every night in a family friendly atmosphere that includes an excellent bar and sit down dining. Let’s all welcome The Birchmere with open arms.

    This is huge news!

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