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Opening of Germantown’s new outdoor venue isn’t quite the event Paul Chandler envisioned but still it’s the realization of a dream for the Germantown Performing Arts Center’s director.

The coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that accompany social distancing limited initial visitors to 10, then 50 in sort of a soft opening for the $7.5 million venue.

The Grove can host 1,200 when social distancing guidelines are lifted. Chandler noted they may initially hold several shows a day so people can enjoy GPAC’s acts while remaining safe.

“I truly see The Grove at GPAC being transformational and exceptional for future generations of Germantown residents,” Mayor Mike Palazzolo said.

Donors and the GPAC board were among those to get a first look at the finished project. Chandler noted a slightly “weird” feeling the project is finished due to the limitations in place.

“We are doing things cautiously and methodically,” he said. “We won’t be irresponsible (in opening).”

GPAC will begin experimenting with the public and working out any possible kinks. A lineup announcement is expected soon. Usually shows are planned five to 18 months in advance, but that timetable has changed.

The Grove will offer charcuterie boards, with food trucks available on the north side of the site. People may also bring food and drinks, but glass is not allowed.

Wire golf rings – 6 feet apart – sit on the grassy area, and families can reserve the spaces before events. Even the stage is large enough for bands members to perform proper distances apart. Stickers on the ground remind people to sit 6 feet apart and reminder videos will play before performances.

For more information, please check out the full article from the Daily Memphian: