New look Espee music venue at St. Paul Square sets stage for large festival

All Aboard music festival to mark reopening of historic San Antonio site on East Side

SAN ANTONIO – There’s new life for a historic San Antonio music venue.

The Sunset Station outdoor venue at St. Paul Square is reopening under new management and under a new name, The Espee.

“We can’t wait to open our doors and reintroduce the community to this gem of a venue on the East Side,” said Ambassador Theatre Group General Manager Emily Smith.

The Espee will open with a music festival called All Aboard on March 4. The daylong festival will feature a diverse lineup of live music entertainment and more to celebrate the re-arrival of this historic downtown venue. Featured artists will include The Head and The Heart, Danielle Ponder, Grupo Fantasma and more.

“We wanted to showcase a diverse lineup intentionally to show the types of entertainment that you will see at the Espee in the future. This is just the beginning,” Smith said.

The Ambassador Theatre Group, which operates the Majestic and Charline McCombs Empire theaters in San Antonio, will run the site. The group has added everything from new lighting to sound and landscaping.

“We updated some of the bars in the venue as well as added production for live entertainment,” Smith said. “A new point of entry and perimeter fence around the property.”

ATG took over the venue last year and began improving the site in preparation for this year’s outdoor concert season.

“There is demand and opportunity here and we’re excited to grow in the city. The Espee is the perfect complement to the Majestic and Empire Theaters. It’s an outdoor amphitheater on the East Side,” Smith said. “It accommodates 3,175 capacity and it’s a great venue.”

The venue will also look to connect to the community and organizations in the future.

“This is a historic location, to see activity come back to it is awesome. We’re just glad to be a part of it,” said Russell LeDay, Chief Financial Officer for San Antonio for Growth on the East Side or SAGE.

LeDay said the Espee will give area businesses more exposure and opportunities with a mix of indoor and outdoor events.

“The one thing we would like to see is any opportunity to bring in and improve the economic situation here on the East Side. Those small business that are already here, we want them to be able to feel some of that energy and and growth that’s happening and not just have those from outside coming in,” LeDay said. “We want to make certain the small businesses, nonprofits and individuals that reside on the East Side benefit from it as well. And this is what this venue has committed to.”

A portion of ticket sales from the All Aboard festival will go directly back to the community, with $1 per ticket sale benefitting SAGE.

“What we do with those funds will support small businesses. We have our back office program, our storefront grant program and other opportunities to help small businesses. So we’re excited about it and we really want everyone to come out,” LeDay said.

“We look forward to continuing to partner with them as we continue to operate in this space to find ways to connect with the community,” said Smith.

Tickets for the festival are now on sale. Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. and performances will start at 3 p.m. Click here for more information.

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About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

Valerie Gomez is lead video editor and graphic artist for KSAT Explains. She began her career in 2014 and has been with KSAT since 2017. She helped create KSAT’s first digital-only newscast in 2018, and her work on KSAT Explains and various specials have earned her a Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media and multiple Emmy nominations.

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