Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Summer Breeze concert series is locked in for June debut in new location

The Summer Breeze concert series is planned to take place on the lawn of the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)
The Summer Breeze concert series is planned to take place on the lawn of the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum. (Andrew Harris/WYDaily)

The Summer Breeze – Unleashed Concert Series is closer to having a new home.

The Williamsburg Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend an application from Colonial Williamsburg to move its free summer music series to the lawn in front of the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum. The series had previously been held in Merchants Square for more than 20 years.

“We’re excited about the plan that we’ve presented to the city, and working with CultureFix we think we’ve got a great concert series on tap for the summer,” Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Vice President of Real Estate Jeff Duncan said to the commission Wednesday.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation requested a change to the zoning ordinance to allow for special events outside in the foundation’s historic area. A parallel request also asked for a special use permit to host the concert series.

The planning commission voted 5-0 Wednesday to recommend the request to City Council. Member Justin Shawler was not present and Jeff Klee abstained.

The application will now be considered by the Williamsburg City Council at a future meeting. Council will not meet until June 14, after the first two concerts take place.

City Planning and Codes Compliance Director Carolyn Murphy said the first two concerts constitute a “temporary use” of the property and, like Funhouse Fest, do not require special use permits. However, the remaining concerts will require the ordinance change and the permit from city council.

Foundation representatives said in their application they wished to move to a larger and more comfortable venue and capitalize on the popularity of Funhouse Fest, which will be held on the same property in June. The new venue will also prevent overcrowding of the restaurants in Merchants Square.

The concerts begin June 6 and will be held every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. through September 19 – with the exception of July 4, which will begin at 4 p.m. The number of concerts will also double in 2018, from eight in 2017 to 16 this year.

[Editor’s note: A complete lineup of artists and dates can be seen at the bottom of this article.]

As part of the concert series, a stage and a 30-by-30-foot tent will be set up in front of the museum and remain in place for the entirety of the concert season, except when they are broken down for Funhouse Fest. Fences and smaller tents will also be installed before and removed after each and every show.

“I like the idea of the outdoor concert series, I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s a big plus for the community,” commissioner Greg Granger said.

Outside food and non-alcoholic drinks will be allowed in the concert area, but alcoholic beverages must be purchased at the venue. Public bathrooms will remain open during each concert.

Parking will be available on Nassau, South Henry and Francis streets.

June 6: Good Shot Judy

June 13: Slapnation

June 20: Bobby BlackHat Band

June 27: Jacob Vanko Band

July 4: The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band (4-6 p.m.) & Brasswind (7-9 p.m.)

July 11: Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas

July 18: Buddha Council

July 25: Chisman Creek Band

Aug. 1: The Grey Riders

Aug. 8: The English Channel

Aug. 15: Party Fins

Aug. 22: Air Force Rhythm in Blue

Aug. 29: Brandon Bower Band

Sept. 5: The Raw Beets

Sept. 12: BJ Griffin and the Galaxy Groove

Sept. 19: 504 Supreme & Truetone Honeys

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

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