Nova Scotia

Concerts hoped for remediated Sydney tar ponds

The owner of the newly-unveiled Open Hearth Park on the remediated Sydney tar ponds is hopeful the green space will attract large, open-air concerts to the area.

Open Hearth Park officially opened Labour Day weekend

People gather at the offical opening of Open Hearth Park in Sydney. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

The owner of the newly-unveiled Open Hearth Park on the remediated Sydney tar ponds is hopeful the green space will attract large, open-air concerts to the area.

Gary Campbell, the president of Nova Scotia Lands — a provincial Crown corporation responsible for the remediation and redevelopment of Crown-owned properties — said the official opening of the park over Labour Day weekend attracted more than 10,000 people.

He said the park can easily accommodate more people — up to 15,000 spectators.

Campbell said all the services are in place to make Open Hearth an attractive venue for concert promoters.

"Same kind of infrastructure that would be in Halifax, on the Common," he said.

"I'm sure the event organizers that arrange all the major events in the province like the Tall Ships and that kind of thing, they are now well aware of the potential of this site as are the entertainers who were there, who will go back and undoubtedly the word will spread that this is a great place for a concert."

Campbell expects to hear from concert promoters soon.

Stephen Tobin, the owner of Drop Entertainment Group, said he thinks it's good for the Sydney area to have options — the main open-air venue right now is the Sydney waterfront.

Tobin said that concert site is good, up to a certain size.

"If you're looking at having a very large outdoor festival with lots of room and facilities around you, then I think the new Open Hearth Park is a wonderful facility in the making," he told CBC News.

Tobin said his interest in the site will be even greater when a permanent amphitheatre is built there. That project is planned for the fall.

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