Jamestown Beach concerts scrap admission fees

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A little over 100 people came out to Jamestown Beach Event Park June 24 to see the first Fourth Fridays concert. (Image courtesy of James City County)
A little over 100 people came out to Jamestown Beach Event Park June 24, 2016 to see the first Fourth Fridays concert. (Image courtesy of James City County)

James City County has scrapped its $20 admission fee for the remaining shows in its Fourth Fridays summer concert series.

Renee Dallman, James City County spokeswoman, said the county decided to eliminate the fee because neighboring localities offer free shows.

The City of Williamsburg hosts the Summer Breeze concert series annually in Merchants Square at no charge, while York County hosts the free “Shagging on the Riverwalk” beach music concert series.

“We felt that was a good idea, to follow in that pattern,” Dallman said.

The county had charged $20 per vehicle at its June 24 concert, the first of the inaugural series at Jamestown Beach Event Park.

A little more than 100 people came to the show, a low turnout Dallman attributed to the weather forecast and other events happening in the area, including the first night of Bruce Hornsby’s Funhouse Fest.

“The numbers were not nearly what we were hoping for, but with those two factors that makes a little more sense,” Dallman said.

The county does not depend on the fee to pay for the concert series, Dallman said. The costs are covered by the county’s tourism fund, which is supported by revenue collected through the Transient Occupancy Tax.

The $20 fee would have helped replenish the fund, she said. There were no proceeds from the June concert that exceeded the concert expenses, she added.

The next show is scheduled for July 22. The concert will be headlined by Harley Boone, a Richmond-based band that blends country, bluegrass and rock.

The third and final show is set for Aug. 26 and will feature Jesse Chong, a Virginia Beach-based artist who performs a variety of musical genres including reggae, rock and funk.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and the shows will start at 6:30 p.m. Concerts take place on a grassy field within Jamestown Beach Event Park, located at 2205 Jamestown Road. Free parking will be available on site but the regular parking fee will be enforced for beach-goers.

There will be food and beverage sales at the concert. Proceeds from drink sales will benefit the United Way of Greater Williamsburg.

Outside food and service animals are permitted but outside alcohol, pets and large plastic coolers are prohibited.