50 Years Later: Pine Knob Music Theatre is Back Just in Time for Summer  

Diana Ross, left, and David Cassidy, right, perform at the Pine Knob Music Theatre over the decades.

Photos by Sue Plummer and Frank Pettis

 

With music legends like Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Tina Turner and comedians like Dave Chappelle bringing the house down at the recently-renamed Pine Knob Music Theatre stage – decade after decade – it can be easy to see why many are drawn to the 15,000-seat stadium where magic and memories are made in Clarkston.

313 Presents announced earlier this year that DTE Energy Music Theatre is going back to the entertainment venue’s original name and will be known again as Pine Knob Music Theatre. The name was changed in 2001 after a 20-year naming deal with DTE Energy was announced.
 

During a 50th-anniversary media conference on Friday, May 20 during a press conference and tour of the grounds, many attendees took a sneak peak down memory lane as 313 Presents announced the activation of the summer schedule of live entertainment to its world-class venues – Pine Knob Music Theatre.  

Presented by United Wholesale Mortgage, Trinity Health, and Ally; Comerica Park, Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, Meadow Brook Amphitheatre, Little Caesars Arena, and the Fox Theatre featuring Comerica Bank, the summer’s amphitheatre and ballpark schedule announced the return to its traditional Memorial Day to Labor Day format for the first time since 2019.  

The media event kicked off a Saturday, May 21 event with Whiskey Myers bringing their “Tornillo Tour” with special guests Shane Smith & The Saints and Goodbye June to Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre. The acclaimed Southern California-bred sister act HAIM opens Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University on May 25, and multi-platinum indie-pop trio AJR will open the 50th anniversary season of the rebranded Pine Knob Music Theatre on Friday, May 27.  

“2022 will be an epic summer concert season highlighted by the return of Pine Knob Music Theatre and its 50th anniversary as well as a record-setting five stadium shows at Comerica Park,” said Howard Handler, President of 313 Presents. “We’re extremely grateful to our Proud Partners United Wholesale Mortgage, Trinity Health, and Ally for helping us to deliver Pine Knob back to the community. We’d also like to thank our friends at Live Nation for their continued support and access to the summer’s biggest touring acts. We’re excited to bring friends and families together all summer long to make memories for many years to come at all our venues including Little Caesars Arena, the Fox Theatre, Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre, and Meadow Brook as well.”  

Handler added during the event that concert-goers will be able to “relive” some of the concerts stretching back decades ago.  

“I can’t wait to swing the doors open,” he said. “Thanks to the fans and universe … and all the backstage characters, venue, and staff who make this possible. They work their tails off every single summer.”  

This summer the iconic venue, which opened its doors on June 25, 1972, with a matinee performance by David Cassidy, will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  

Pine Knob Music Theatre’s three entrances were also rebranded due to new, long-term relationships with partners United Wholesale Mortgage, Trinity Health, and Ally.  

Before entering the Trinity Health VIP Entrance, Ally East Entrance, or UWM West Entrance, concertgoers can relive some of the venue’s first 50 years with a photo retrospective exhibit located just outside UWM’s West Entrance. With photo curation provided by Meg Handler, design by Vicky Lu, and editorial by Gary Graff, guests will be able to enjoy a collection of photos from the venue’s 50-year history, including from Cassidy’s inaugural performance by Frank Pettis. Located on the walkway near the Trinity Health VIP Entrance, a larger-than-life Pine Knob Music Theatre logo – created by Detroit’s Prop Art Studio – will allow guests the perfect opportunity to capture a photo to showcase their concert experience while creating memories for a lifetime.  

Jeff Cumberworth, senior director, Auto Marketing & Events · Ally Financial Inc., said at the event that as a Clarkston native he is not only excited as a past and present attendee, but his company is one of the proud partners of Pine Knob.  

“There are so many stories,” he said adding that it was a “no brainer” to restore the brand to what it was. “To me this is home. … Just such a huge piece of my life.”  

From graduating on the very stage he stood talking to making memories over a lifetime – Pine Knob to him is what he hopes it continues to be for others.  

“This is something we couldn’t pass up on and I am extremely proud to be a part of it,” he said.  

Share your memories and photos at @PineKnobMusic, Facebook at Pine Knob Music Theatre, and Instagram at @PineKnobMusic, and use the hashtag #PineKnob50. Guests can also get creative with their posts utilizing specially created Snapchat filters and Instagram GIFs in honor of the venue’s 50th anniversary.  

Share memories, and photos also at 313Presents.com/PineKnob50.  

Find the 2022 concert schedule for all 313 Presents venues at 313Presents.com.  

   

 

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