I.M.P. Signs 40-Year Deal to Operate Merriweather Post Pavilion


I.M.P., the Bethesda, Md.-based promotions company that owns and operates 9:30 Club, has secured a new 40-year deal to operate Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Not long after taking ownership of the venue in November, the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission made the agreement with the promotions juggernaut that will run until 2057. The news was not surprising given that I.M.P. has had a successful track record of running Merriweather Post Pavilion for the last 13 years. This summer’s forthcoming lineup is one example, as I.M.P. has booked big-named headliners like The xx, alt-J, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Sigur Rós, and John Legend to perform at the venue.

In 2014, I.M.P. had signed a contract with Merriweather’s former owner, developer Howard Hughes Corp., to run the venue through 2024. But the agreement ended once the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission took over.

The news comes in the midst of a $55 million renovation that I.M.P. is making to Merriweather. The plan includes new box offices, concessions and restrooms that are more modern and can accommodate a larger amount of people. There’s also a new rotating stage and 15,000 square feet of dressing room and backstage space. Among the most impressive amenities is a swimming pool onsite for bands, going above and beyond the standard green room perks.

This year is shaping up to be a monumental one for I.M.P., which also operates other well-known venues like the legendary Lincoln Theatre. The promotions company is also set to open up a brand new 6,000-capacity venue–the Anthem–at the forthcoming Southwest waterfront development the Wharf.