Castleton Music Festival

Challenge – Finding a performance facility
Solution – Two Hercules Truss Arch Buildings
Size – 72′ wide x 56′ long, 100′ wide x 170′ long
Application – Music theater

Maestro Lorin Maazel, a world-famous orchestra conductor, dedicates his life and farm to his love for classical music. Maazel trains young musicians to perform at the Castleton Music Festival in Castleton, VA. In order to hold this festival at the farm, Maazel and his team needed to build a facility that could be outfitted with systems to keep the audience and performers comfortable, yet still be aesthetically pleasing.

Director of Production John Harris was assigned the task of researching options for the venue and decided on two Hercules Truss Arch Buildings to serve as the music theater and Castleton Festival Café. Harris determined that an outdoor amphitheater or tent would not work for this application because they would not properly capture the sounds of the symphony’s music. Also, the music festivals are held during the hot Virginia summers, making total enclosure and air conditioning a must—two features a tent or outdoor theater could not offer.

The spacious interior and lack of internal supports in a Truss Arch Building provide an ideal atmosphere for a music theater. Inside the larger of the two buildings there is a stage and auditorium that seats approximately five hundred people. The building is air conditioned throughout and is outfitted with full lighting and sound systems. Harris says, “The number of trusses installed in the building to meet snow-load requirements also helped us hang lighting equipment.” The smaller building is used for gala dinner events and VIP receptions. Harris explains, “We wanted a place where the aesthetics work not just for the performance, but for the audience.” He continues, “The folks at ClearSpan were incredibly enthusiastic in trying to make this work for me.”

Harris was most impressed by the different ClearSpan teams he worked with. He says, “The design process, the engineering process, and most importantly, the construction process were all great. They worked with me right down to the very minute to get this facility up and ready in a very short amount of time.”

For more information on the Castleton Festival and their ClearSpan Fabric Structures, visit