Bowman, SC (WLTX) - Orangeburg County leaders are excited to welcome a new concert and entertainment venue in Bowman, called Yonder Field. The 200 acre venue is expected to hold nearly 30,000 people per concert.
Yonder Field owners are expected to host 15 concerts this year.
When concerts aren't being held, the venue will serve as an agricultural space.
"We're literally talking about something that can appeal to the entire state," says Stacie White, president and general manager of the project. She spoke out during a public comment meeting with Orangeburg County Council on why they chose the space.
"While the magnitude of it sounds very large, we are in a rural area, but that's what we love about it."
That beloved rural space is also home to dozens of residents, who have been fighting to stop the project.
"My environment will not be safe and my life will not be enjoyable," says Patti Padgett, who also spoke out at the public meeting. "This is in my backyard."
Padgett property backs right into the planned concert space, with a tree-line separating.
"Our biggest concern is probably traffic," says Janice Wiles, who lives across the street from Padgett. "But our other concerns are noise, security, people drinking, maybe under the influence of drugs back there and getting on the highways and security for our properties."
There were also talks that the influx of patrons at Yonder Field would bring in more money to the county. White says that the one percent sales tax will go back to the county and that local restaurants will be able to serve within the venue during concerts.
Residents who attended the Tuesday night public meeting are concerned that the camping out at the venue will not allow patrons to visit other restaurants and stores in the area.
Padgett and Wiles recognize that the plans for Yonder Field are nearly set. The only thing stopping the final approval is a traffic study, approved by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).
Homestead road and Timrod lane, which could be an entrance for the facility, see about 1,000 cars a day. A Yonder Field spokesperson explained that there could be 8,500 cars that come into the concert venue for any given performance. That's 8-10 times the amount of traffic than that road is used to.
Kevin Gantt with SCDOT says there's a lot to consider before Yonder Field gets the full go ahead.
"We have not received a formal permit and we do not have a traffic study that would project the traffic impact that the events would cause on the local area."
It could take months before the full traffic study is approved by SCDOT, but Yonder Field plans to have their first show in May.