For a long time, outdoor concert lovers in Terre Haute had only one option if they wanted to see their favorite artists and musicians at an outdoor music venue, a drive to Noblesville. While the distance made for a fun night out in the city, it took away opportunities to have fun and make memories in our city. Terre Haute needed a new outdoor music venue, and it needed one quick.
Terre Haute resident Tim Drake saw this as an opportunity to provide his community with a state-of-the-art music venue. “I have lived here my whole life,” stated Drake. “You find the need, you fill the need.” Not only will this cater to residents, it will also increase tourism to the Terre Haute area. “It’s right here in our backyard,” Drake explained. “We’re bringing in some big artists next year.”
The Mill Amphitheater is just over 65 acres and can hold between 4,000 and 5,000 people. This outdoor venue pays homage to a bit of Terre Haute history. “We wanted to pay tribute to what was here and tip our hat to where we want to go,” stated Drake. In 1917, the International Paper Plant opened for business. Over the 90 years it was in operation, the mill employed 170 people. In 2007, the corporate office decided to close the plant, leaving the property empty and desolate. In 2018, Drake placed a bid on the property with a plan to create the amphitheater.
The Mill officially opened to the public on June 5, 2021, with a sold-out show featuring two-time Grammy award-winning recording artist Nelly. The outdoor venue started their first year with a bang, hosting several acts including Riley Green, Three Dog Night, Summerland Tour, Lee Brice and Granger Smith. So far, the stage has seen many music stars, and this is only the beginning. “We’ve been working so hard for so many years, talking about it and dreaming about it,” explained Drake. “Seeing it come to life, it’s pretty crazy.”
Drake is impressed with the progress he and his team have made. Every concert provides an opportunity to improve the venue, both for the artists and for the concert goers. In preparation for next season, The Mill has already started scouting out big names from talent agencies in Nashville and even New York City to fill the stage next season. “Talent agencies in big cities are very interested in who we are, where we came from and where we are going,” said Drake. “Lots of agencies have been very impressed with our progress.”
Drake and his staff at The Mill are happy with their first season, but they also realize the key to a great business, a great customer experience, is change. “Every time we have a concert we are constantly improving,” he said. “This venue is always changing for the better.” Drake plans to announce the lineup for next season within the next six months. Until then, he and his team will be hard at work perfecting the stage and working with engineers to create a one-of-a-kind concert experience that can only be found in Terre Haute. For more information on The Mill, including past acts, amenities and even keep up to date on next season’s line-up, check out their website! We’ll be seeing you… at The Mill.