Launch Date, Lineup Unveiled for 1,200-seat East County Concert Venue

The city of El Cajon and Live Nation announce reopening and initial lineup for the long-dormant East County Performing Arts Center

Good things come to those who wait: On Tuesday, July 16, the city of El Cajon and Live Nation announced the initial show lineup for the long-dormant East County Performing Arts Center now dubbed "The Magnolia." Set to open in September, the 1,210-seat venue has received a big facelift after sitting unused for years with state-of-the-art sound, lighting and projection systems.

"This is a special moment for not only El Cajon but the entire San Diego region," said City Manager Graham Mitchell in a press release. "The completely renovated Magnolia represents another jewel in the continued growth of the entire region. It’s Magnolia’s look, feel and vibrancy -- ranging from extra-wide rows to more leg room in the venue to a VIP lounge and new bars combined with some of the best sight lines and entertainment experiences -- that match any building anywhere in the country."

It’s a long time coming: The city of El Cajon and Live Nation Entertainment formally entered into a management agreement on December of 2017 (as we reported on here), that turned operative duties of the venue (which closed in 2009) over to the live-entertainment/ticketing behemoth with a “targeted opening in spring of 2019.” The agreement requires Live Nation to present at least 50 shows a year initially, and with its opening lineup, they’re well on their way.

Notable musical artists scheduled to stop at the Magnolia trend toward a slightly more experienced show-going crowd -- including R&B legend Patti Labelle, jazz guitarist Al Di Meola, soul/pop/blues songsmith Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Norteno musician Ramon Ayala, rock & roll icon Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, prog-metal titans Dream Theater, the inimitable pop/folk crooner Art Garfunkel, Traffic’s Dave Mason, and former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung (among others).

Also in the mix? The much-talked-about "Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly Rock 'N' Roll Dream Tour," which presents both iconic musicians as onstage holograms, is set to play at the venue on Oct. 1.

Aside from music, the Magnolia has also tapped other entertainment for its initial offerings including Countess Luann (from "The Real Housewives of New York"), "MasterChef Junior Live," Stassi Schroeder (from "The Vanderpump Rules"), "PJ Masks" (a live version of the Disney TV cartoon show) and comedian Kathleen Madigan.

More information is available at Various ticket pre-sales beginning on July 16 at 10 a.m. and running through July 18 at 10 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, July 19, at 10 a.m. (all times local). 

The Magnolia’s initial show lineup

  • Sept. 13: Countess Luann and Friends
  • Sept. 24: Al Di Meola
  • Oct. 1: Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly: The Rock 'N' Roll Dream Tour
  • Oct. 3: Patti Labelle
  • Oct. 9: Dave Mason with very special guest Richie Furay
  • Oct. 10: Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers
  • Oct. 16: "MasterChef Junior Live!"
  • Oct. 17: Leo Dan
  • Oct. 18: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
  • Oct. 23: Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Oct. 27: Dream Theater
  • Nov. 1: Ramon Ayala y Sus Bravos Del Norte
  • Dec. 13: Stassi Schroeder w/ Beau Clark & Taylor Strecker
  • Dec. 29: "PJ Masks: Save The Day Live!"
  • Jan. 9, 2020: Art Garfunkel
  • Feb. 20, 2020: Kathleen Madigan
  • March 7, 2020: Dennis DeYoung
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