The general manager of the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa resigned this week to take a similar post at a new concert amphitheater in Atlanta.
Stephen Redfearn, the Pacific's general manager since 1984, said that a longstanding dispute with neighbors over noise from the 18,000-capacity amphitheater "wasn't really a factor in my decision."
"It wasn't pleasant to deal with at all. But that had nothing to do with my leaving," Redfearn said Friday.
Redfearn, 39, said his family will move after Jan. 1 to Atlanta where, as general manager, he will oversee the construction and opening of the 22,000-capacity Starplex Amphitheatre, a joint venture between the Houston-based PACE Theatrical Group and MCA/Universal, which operates the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. The Atlanta theater is due to open about June 1, he said.
A spokeswoman for Ned West Inc., which operates the Pacific Amphitheatre, said Friday that Redfearn's job will be handled through the end of the concert season by Susan Rosenbluth, general manager of the Greek Theater, which also is operated by Ned West. The season ends Nov. 12 with a concert by contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant.
Almost since the Pacific opened in July, 1983, it has been at odds with residents who have complained about excessive noise and behavior of fans attending rock and pop concerts.
A lawsuit filed by Costa Mesa residents against operators of the Pacific is still in litigation. In one phase of the suit, Redfearn was among the amphitheater operators named in contempt citations issued at concerts that violated local noise ordinances. Those charges have not been resolved.
Redfearn said he is making the move to Atlanta because "I have always wanted to be involved in building amphitheaters. The Nederlanders (owners of Ned West Inc.) gave me a great opportunity here and I have learned a lot. But this is a chance to get involved with an amphitheater from the ground up."