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 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
WYDaily archives were used in this story.