HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The ribbon was cut on the new $40 million Orion Amphitheater in May with the goal of celebrating music culture in the City of Huntsville and attracting big-name acts to come and perform.

Thursday night, the City’s music officer, Matt Mandrella, invited fans to come and get a closer look at the new amphitheater and meet some local talent.  

Mandrella said it starts with fans and artists. Before you can really define what the music scene’s going to look like, you have to bring them together. That’s what this meetup is all about. 

The city’s music venues and concert acts are growing, and the presence of the Orion Amphitheater shines a brighter spotlight – especially on the local music talent.  

The event showcased what Orion means to North Alabama. Curators from Blast, a streaming platform hosted by the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL), brought some artists in to introduce themselves to the music fans.  

Fans got the chance to tour Orion. But it’s all a part of the new music scene in Madison County. 

“We had the music board and the advisory board do a study a few years ago about the whole music scene in Huntsville and how to grow it. We pay the artists when we accept them onto the platform and give them an honorarium, so we are helping to contribute to that music economy,” Anne Phillips of HMCPL explained.

Mandrella said a lot of folks look at the Orion as a big music venue. In looking at the lineup of major artists that have already been to Orion, such as Dierks Bentley and Kenny Chesney, it’s easy to believe that it’s just for big acts.

“It’s not only getting a chance to meet me and other city officials, but I would even encourage even more importantly for artists to talk to each other and connect with each other and our music scene to be inviting and collaborative. I believe that would be awesome,” said Mandrella.

Mandrella also announced that the month of September will be Huntsville Music Month.