San Diego Symphony’s ‘The Shell’ to celebrate opening day on July 10


SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Symphony took another step closer to unveiling its permanent outdoor music venue along the Embarcadero by announcing its name and opening day Monday.

The symphony has been dreaming the space up for nearly two decades and spent the last four years working to make it a reality.

“Everyone kept calling it ‘the shell, the shell, the shell.’ We said, ‘Well, if that’s what everybody calls, it that’s what we’ll call it,” said Martha Gilmer, CEO of the San Diego Symphony.

The Shell features a 13,000-square-foot covered stage and enough space to host anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 guests, depending on the event. An upgraded public park, permanent bathrooms and restaurants are also part of the plans.

The site sits on port land, so plans for the venue had to pass through the local coastal commission.

“I believe that, on this space, nature meets culture — and we are respectful of both,” Gilmer said.

The unique concert space was primarily privately funded, but it will be open to host a variety of public and private events throughout the year.

“We feel this is our gift to the city of San Diego and will really focus our intention to be part of this community. The orchestra is committed to being part of the fabric of San Diego,” Gilmer said.

The Shell’s opening day is set for July 10, when it will kick off a three-day concert event.

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