Live Nation buys Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion

Monitor staff
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

One of the state’s largest concert venues has been purchased by Live Nation, the entertainment giant that owns Ticketmaster.

The global company announced Wednesday it had acquired an interest in the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, formerly known as Meadowbrook.

The sale was made by Meadowbrook Farm LLC to Meadowbrook Amphitheatre Holdings, LLC, a Delaware-based limited liability company, according to documents filed in the Belknap County Registry of Deeds on Monday.

The grounds and buildings had a 2017 net assessed value of $4.9 million, according to Gilford tax records. The sale price was $5.1 million, according to a real estate transfer tax of $77,068, according to the Merrimack County Registry of Deeds.

The venue’s current executive staff, led by president Robert “R.J.” Harding and his wife, Bridget, will remain in place and continue to run day-to-day operations and will work with Ticketmaster to integrate its ticketing services, according to the press release.

“We are thrilled to add the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion to our venue portfolio, and to welcome R.J., Bridget, and their team to the Live Nation family,” Don Law, President of Live Nation New England, said in a statement. “The Pavilion is a very unique and special venue, and we look forward to helping grow an already outstanding business to bring the people of New England a world class entertainment lineup for many years to come.”

Founded in 1966 as Meadowbrook Farm, the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion – still referred to by locals as “Meadowbrook” – underwent a $3 million expansion with financial partner Bank of New Hampshire in 2013, bumping its capacity from 6,000 to 8,300, adding additional parking and more food and beverage locations.

The expansion also allowed the venue to attract bigger names. Artists who visited the venue in 2017 include Luke Bryan, John Mellencamp, Chris Stapleton, Bryan Adams, Third Eye Blind, Florida Georgia Line and more.

The venue was named one of the 10 Best Concert Venues by USA Today in 2014, joining venues like Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, Madison Square Garden in New York, and Fenway Park in Boston.

As with any concert venue, the concerts have drawn a sustained police presence. During 18 concerts over a six-week period in 2016, more than 230 people were taken into custody before midnight. About half were taken into protective custody for drunkenness at the venue, both before and during a show, according to Gilford police records.

Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn has said the town views the concert pavilion as a major asset to the community and to the Lakes Region.

Just down Route 106, Live Nation is also looking to stage concerts in Loudon. The promoter has partnered with New Hampshire Motor Speedway to host a three-day country music festival next summer.