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Gautier Leaders Break the Sound Barrier With New Amphitheater

Photo courtesy of The City of Gautier.

Can you hear that?

It’s a new sound and it’s coming from Gautier as city and county leaders dug their shovels deep to break ground on The Sound Amphitheater, part of the city’s $8 million Town Commons Park project.

And it’s being hailed as the largest entertainment economic project in the region in decades.

“We were looking for one word that represents both our area and our purpose in this amphitheater,” said Paula Yancey, Gautier City Manager. “As you know, we are located on the Mississippi Sound, and now you will hear the sounds of major performers coming from this beautiful amphitheater, named The Sound.”

With a more than 6,500-person capacity, the $6 million amphitheater space will host the nation’s top touring acts in all genres. The Sound’s focus will also include delivering an excellent backstage environment with well-appointed dressing rooms, green rooms, promotion and tour offices, a catering kitchen, and other features, all of which are needed to attract top national artists.

“We have worked with city leadership and entertainment specialists to make the design flawless,” Yancey said. “We are so excited that we are finally breaking ground on Gautier’s new amphitheater. This enormous project will be great for our community, and Gautier will truly be the newest place for people to gather and enjoy performances.”

Beginning in spring 2024, this park and amphitheater will serve as the gateway to Gautier, hosting 6,500 people for 10-12 national touring concerts during the spring, summer, and fall. There will be VIP seating, corporate box options, and lawn seating. The park will also have a concession area for multiple food trucks and flexibility for large-scale community events. Leading the vision and design aspects of the project are Seymour Engineering and Allred Stolarski Architects.

And although the focus of the amphitheater is bringing in large musical acts to the city, it will also serve as a large economic boost to the region. Therefore, to ensure the amphitheater was a quality and practical entertainment venue, the city partnered with 46 Entertainment, a concert promoter company that specializes in all aspects of performance venues and live events.

“In one short year, The Sound will bring the nation’s best country, rock, R&B, and blues acts to thousands of people every week,” said Nathan Baugh, President of 46 Entertainment. “With an estimated economic impact of $13-15 million per year, this project will truly change this city and the region.”

While hosting 80,000 people throughout the year is certainly an economic boon for Gautier by direct spending within the facility, the true win is the indirect spending outside the venue.

“When planning, we focused on the amphitheater itself and the on-site revenue, but that just scratches the surface of the actual impact,” Gautier Mayor Casey Vaughan said. “The entire region will be significantly impacted as it relates to hotels, restaurants, bars, and gas stations.”

Currently, 46 Entertainment is in the process of meeting with local industry leaders, businesses, and individuals to connect the dots on premium seating options, corporate boxes, and naming rights for The Sound.

Along with the new park and amphitheater, and the redevelopment of the mall, the construction of a new Mississippi Songwriters Performing Arts Center and Hall of Fame Museum is in the works. These key features are all part of building a thriving downtown, which is crucial to the long-term economic viability of Gautier.

Photos courtesy of the City of Gautier


Written by Cherie Ward

Cherie Ward is an award-winning Mississippi Gulf Coast journalist with decades of experience in writing and photography. She lives in Ocean Springs with her husband and has two adult children who also live on the Coast.

Connect with her by email at [email protected] with story ideas or find her @cherieward on Instagram. She would love to hear from you.


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