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Mann-Scaping: Expansion Starts With Sigur Rós

Inquirer music critic Peter Dobrin has a breakdown of the changes slated for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. (Anyone remember Robin Hood Dell?) Lest you still think of the Mann as somewhat stodgy, with an insistent slate of Orchestra performances and flamenco dance shows, the venue launches part one of its expansion with Sigur Rós—which, actually, if you have to bring an indie band to Orchestra fans, is a pretty good choice.

First step of the expansion will be the Skyline Stage and Lawn, opening at the end of July. It'll be a smaller stage and a setup for people to stand and listen to a band. Mann CEO Catherine Cahill told Dobrin:

"What we've discovered is that a number of artists and audiences don't want a 4,500-seat undercover venue. They want to stand, audiences want to be up close to the artists, and that's becoming more common in a lot of indie rock groups." Next step: Get rid of half of the more expensive plastic seats that no one ever sits in, enlarge the lawn to get people closer to the stage, and put video screens in so even people sitting far back on the lawn can see what's going on. More details to come.
· Mann adding a second stage for listeners to get up close [Inquirer]