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Jason Rapp

New entertainment venue planned for Midlands

Concerts announced today include Ranky Tanky


Announced yesterday, Innovation Arts & Entertainment (IAE) and The Roberts Group have partnered to launch Cola Concerts presents Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center.

The new partnership will bring major touring artists and well-known comedians to the Soda City providing the live entertainment experience people have been missing. Cola Concerts will build a new venue from the ground up at historic Columbia Speedway (2001 Charleston Highway, Cayce). An initial artist lineup for Cola Concerts presents Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center was just announced and includes Charleston-based Grammy Award winners Ranky Tanky on Nov. 22, 2020. Live concerts are set to begin this Nov. 14. Fans will be able to get early access to tickets by signing up for the Cola Concerts Speedway Club at ColaConcerts.com. The Cola Concert Series at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center will feature a pair of 40-foot state-of-the-art digital screens allowing for picture-perfect viewing even during daylight hours. With a capacity of 3500, the site will be one of the largest entertainment experiences operating in South Carolina. Fans will be able to safely experience live music, comedy and live broadcasts of professional and collegiate sports from special coves, which are 12’x12’ areas enclosed by posts and ornamental rope. The coves will be big enough for up to four fans to safely socially distance from others.

A proven model

IAE is a boutique live entertainment company known for national and international theatrical tours, as well as live music events including the Beach Road Weekend Music Festival on Martha’s Vineyard and the Yarmouth Drive-in on Cape Cod in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Launched in June 2020, the Yarmouth Drive-in has hosted more than 50 live music and comedy shows this summer including performances by Marcus King Trio, Chase Rice, The Disco Biscuits, Goose, and comedians Bert Kreischer, Nikki Glaser and Iliza Shlesinger. Employing more than 100 people, the venue provided a boost to the area economy during the pandemic. The Yarmouth Drive-in has become the blueprint for the return of the fan and band interactive experience at live entertainment venues. “We are excited to take what we learned at the drive-in this summer and use it to create the best live entertainment venue in South Carolina,” said Adam Epstein, founder and CEO of IAE. “We have had an overwhelming response from artists that are ready to bring music back to Columbia.” The Roberts Group is a national live entertainment promotion company. They have a deep connection to Columbia, having brought more than 100 theatrical performances to the city through their Broadway in Columbia series, which launched in 2003 at the Koger Center for the Arts. “When we began talking with Adam and IAE about launching a live entertainment series, the first place we thought of was Columbia,” Managing Director of The Roberts Group Daniel Hampel said. “Every time we bring a show to Columbia the fans are so warm and kind. We couldn’t be happier about bringing live entertainment back to the Soda City.”

Venue will create jobs

The Cola Concert Series is expected to hire more than 100 local employees to handle everything from ticketing to security. Additionally, there will be space for 10 local food vendors at the Columbia Speedway Entertainment Center, providing concessions to 3,000+ fans at every show. A schedule of initial shows is available now at ColaConcerts.com. While at the website, fans are encouraged to sign up for Cola Concerts Speedway Club to get all show announcements and early access to ticket presales, and they can follow them on Instagram and Twitter using @ColaConcerts and "Cola Concerts" on Facebook.