PHOTOS: Inside Ovation, Newport's Newest Concert Pavilion

May 13, 2021

Newport's $40 million new music venue Ovation announed its first shows Friday morning. They include Lady A and Russ. The announcement comes one day after Media got a sneak peek of the indoor outdoor concert space.

Here are the first shows to start in September:

The 25-acre development on land owned by Corporex and developed and managed by Columbus-based PromoWest has sweeping views of the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati at 101 West Fourth Street in Newport.

Depending upon the size of the concert, Ovation can easily switch between an inside pavilion and an outdoor amphitheater, according to PromoWest's Fred Campo. It involves raising a garage door and pushing the stage out. Ovation can fit 7,000 people outside and 2,700 inside.

"There really isn't one bad viewing site inside, wherever you sit," he says. "You're going to get an immaculate view of the show."

Just 283 seats of the 7,000 outside are permanent. Those will be reserved for platinum or season box seats. The space is in a grassy area between the building and the courthouse.

This is the view from the stage looking out to where concertgoers would sit.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Campo says the acoustics are state of the art. He says this is the most high tech PromoWest pavilion, including the ones in Columbus and Pittsburgh.

The rooms were the bands get dressed are impressive. "When they're in the dressing room some people like to unwind so they can plug into their Apple TV to watch their favorite show," Campo says. "They can watch what's going on onstage, as you can see now. They could Skype or FaceTime their families." Campo says there is a hotel-style bathroom with shower.

King Records Room

Ovation also celebrates Cincinnati's past with a King Records room. During the media tour, singer/songwriter Otis Williams of The Charms was sitting down, reminiscing about the start of his career while still at Withrow High School.

Otis Williams and The Charms were a doo-wop group popular in the 1950s.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

"I got what is it? All-Star baseball, football and I had a gold record all at the same time," he says.

Williams wrote songs that went on to be recorded by other artists like Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Pat Boone.

There's a mural on the wall of the King Records room painted by Keith Neltner. "The inspiration was the feature. Philip Otis and Bootsy, kind of in their heyday when they contributed to King. So I really wanted to elevate the energy and their contribution to music," says Neltner.

Artist Keith Neltner painted the mural in the King Records Room inside Ovation.
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Ovation will open in September.