The Backyard breaks ground in Bee Cave on June 24

From left: Bee Cave Mayor Caroline Murphy, The Backyard partner John Paul DeJoria, Live Oak Amphitheater President Tim O'Connor and The Backyard partner Christopher Milam break ground on the new project June 24.

From left: Bee Cave Mayor Caroline Murphy, The Backyard partner John Paul DeJoria, Live Oak Amphitheater President Tim O'Connor and The Backyard partner Christopher Milam break ground on the new project June 24.

Eloise and John Paul DeJoria address the crowd at Saturday's groundbreaking.[/caption]

After years of planning and permitting, Bee Cave Mayor Caroline Murphy joined developers John Paul DeJoria and IDM President and CEO Christopher Milam, together with The Backyard’s original producer, Tim O’Connor, on June 24 to shovel the first dirt at a new site and concept for The Backyard. The project is a 50-acre entertainment venue and planned development district on Bee Cave Parkway, between RR 620 and West Hwy. 71 in Bee Cave. Musician Bob Schneider entertained guests and project staff.

Developers of The Backyard planned development district broke ground on the Bee Cave project June 24.[/caption]

“The Backyard has been an integral part of Bee Cave for many years, well before I was even involved in the city government 20 years ago,” Murphy said. “We’re very happy The Backyard can be here and come back in even a bigger and better way. We are excited about this and look forward to great things.”

Bob Schneider entertains guests at The Backyard groundbreaking event.[/caption]

O’Connor was associated with The Backyard that opened in 1993 on West Hwy. 71—an iconic, outdoor amphitheater known for jazz, country, classical and rock concerts—that closed after relocating within Bee Cave. O'Connor said he has revived his friendships with the project’s developers and is seeking to bring back The Backyard of old, but with a modern twist.

“I have been very blessed just to be with the artists that I love and all the music I’ve seen,” O’Connor told Community Impact Newspaper. “But on the other side, there was still this yearning to plant another Backyard that was designed correctly, and it corrected a lot of the mistakes I made over the years. It just took a culmination of people that finally came together, and I was in.

“I really feel that it will be futuristic enough, meaning to catch up with this time period that major artists will want to play there.“

Although the groundbreaking ceremony was held, Bee Cave City Council agreed Dec. 14 to withhold a certificate of occupancy for the entire project until access is obtained onto West Hwy. 71. Currently, the only entrance and exit to the project is off Bee Cave Parkway, and traffic concerns motivated the council's vote at the end of last year.
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