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Bass Concert Hall to Debut Multi-Million Dollar Renovations in May

Without in-person performances during the pandemic, the performing arts venue is renovating

When Bass Concert Hall reopens for large in-person events, audiences might not recognize the performing arts venue – and not only because it’s been so long since big indoor events have been safe to attend.

This year, Bass Concert Hall is celebrating a 40-year anniversary with a makeover worth $3 million.

“As public health conditions improve and large-scale events return, performance-goers can look forward to an upgraded experience that prepares the venue for its next 40 years of world-renowned performances, educational activities and collaborative partnerships,” Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas (TPA) wrote in a press release on Tuesday.

Before: The performing arts center will undergo numerous changes including new seats and an updated audio/visual system. Photo by Cami Yates.

The privately funded renovation includes a number of enhancements, including new carpet for the lobby and auditorium, new 1,241 seats for the balcony section, improved views from side sections, an upgraded audio/visual system to enable more creativity from artists and performers as well as an infrastructure that supports recording and streaming. The lobby will also be reconfigured – but not expanded – in an effort to reduce crowding.

Following previous renovations in 2009, the latest upgrade is focused on the safety and experience of event goers. A less crowded lobby does both; other improvements include replacing aisle lighting for visibility and an enhanced ventilation system for better air filtration.

After: Renovations will be completed in time for 2021 graduation ceremonies.

“Our resilience during this devastating time for the performing arts will come from acting on opportunities to come back better than before,” Executive Director of TPA Bob Bursey said in a statement. “This major renovation takes full advantage of the silver lining the pandemic has provided and sets the tone for our ambitions going forward.”

According to the TPA press release, renovations will be completed in May 2021 – just in time for the UT class of 2021 graduation ceremonies.