Pine Knob restored as official name for popular venue

Hani Barghouthi
The Detroit News

Clarkston — Twenty years after a name change that never really stuck and ahead of the start of the 50th anniversary season for one of the nation's top outdoor venues, the Pine Knob moniker has been restored to Pine Knob Music Theatre. 

Workers with Pro Touch Construction strip wood siding as the new Pine Knob signage goes up at the former DTE Music Energy Theatre, which before that was formerly called Pine Knob, on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

The change — or return, rather — was announced in January by 313 Presents, which operates the amphitheater. It comes two decades after a branding deal in 2001 left it with the name DTE Energy Music Theatre, one that concertgoers and musicians never fully embraced. 

When performers such as Bob Seger shouted out "good evening, Pine Knob!" from the stage, it would always receive a huge roar from the crowd. 

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"For us, there was an undeniable equity that always existed in the name Pine Knob Music Theater," Howard Handler, 313 Presents' president, said in an interview in January. "Nobody forgot it. And in today’s world, that type of legacy means something."

That legacy stretches back to 1972, when on June 25 it hosted its first concert, a matinee performance from teen idol David Cassidy. Early ads touted it as "the exciting new outdoor theatre at the foot of the ski slope!"

Workers strip wood siding as the new Pine Knob signage goes up at the former DTE Music Energy Theatre on Thursday, April 21, 2022. 

 Boodle's in Madison Heights.

Friday, April 15, 2022. 

Max Ortiz, The Detroit News

Handler promises "a very full summer" and says there are plenty of fireworks in store for Pine Knob's golden anniversary. 

"We want to really celebrate the legend and the future of this great venue," he said.


Staff Writer Adam Graham contributed.