Oswego’s new Venue 1012 for outdoor entertainment launches

Oswego’s new space for outdoor entertainment, Venue 1012, officially opened to the public, marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included music from local artists.

Planning for Venue 1012, located at 1012 Station Drive, behind the Oswego Junction shopping area, began in 2019, when the Oswego Village Board of Trustees accepted an approximately 3-acre plot of land donated by business owner Kevin Fialko. It’s immediately west of the village’s former Metra Park-n-Ride lot near the southwest corner of Mill and Orchard roads.

During the Aug. 19 ribbon-cutting ceremony, Village President Troy Parlier praised the efforts of local, state and federal agencies to complete the project.

“Here we are with many friends, and the cause we share together is the betterment of Oswego,” Parlier said.

In addition to several private donors, state legislators advocated for funding to help open the amphitheater. State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, helped secure a $100,000 state grant, and state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, helped land another $138,000 grant. Additional donations were made in the form of construction materials.

Village Administrator Daniel DiSanto said 50% of the project was funded by grants and donations, something that can continue through people buying a commemorative brick, part of a structure that would be included in the second phase of construction.

Those interested in donating to the project can email Julie Hoffman, community engagement coordinator, at jhoffman@oswegoil.org.

Entertainment lineup

Venue 1012 has several upcoming events, according to a village news release, including the four-day Vet Fest, headlined by country music duo LoCash on Friday, Aug. 27, and rock singer Vince Neil on Saturday, Aug. 28. The lineup also includes a Johnny Cash tribute, “The Man in Black,” and 7th Heaven, plus a carnival for guests all weekend.

Oswego’s Got Talent will be held Saturday, Sept. 18, and will turn up the stage lights on entertainers of all kinds who will compete for cash prizes and a spot on the main stage at subsequent village of Oswego events. On Sept. 24, the U.S. Air Force Band Starlifter will bring high-energy rock, pop, country and patriotic music to the stage. And on Oct. 17, the annual Pumpkin Pick-up will give away 500 pumpkins to Oswego families on a first-come basis.

More events continue to be added to the calendar throughout the season. Visit www.oswegoil.org/venue1012 for a list of events and to sign up for notifications about upcoming events.