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Thursday, May 23, 2024

The dos and don’ts of Williamsburg Live

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg building stands tall behind the Funhouse Fest tent where Bruce Hornsby performed Friday night. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg building stands tall behind the Funhouse Fest tent where Bruce Hornsby performed in 2018. (WYDaily/Sarah Fearing)

The inaugural Williamsburg Live festival is this weekend, bringing traffic, pedestrians, food trucks and more to Colonial Williamsburg.

Norah Jones and Emmylou Harris will headline the festival this year, with Parker Millsap and Mandolin Orange also playing as secondary acts.

Festival performances will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Headliners play at 9 p.m. The box office opens at 1 p.m. both days.

Here’s what festival-goers should know about parking, food and other frequently-asked questions, courtesy of festival organizer, the Virginia Arts Festival:

Parking and directions

Like its predecessor, Funhouse Fest, Williamsburg Live will be on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg between Francis Street W., S. Henry Street and S. Nassau Street.

Festival organizers encourage festival attendees to park at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, 101 Visitor Center Drive, because of expected heavy traffic.

A shuttle bus will run between the festival and visitor center.


Different from last year, the Williamsburg Live main entrance and box office will be at the corner of S. Nassau and Francis streets.

The VIP-only entrance will be on S. Henry Street.

The lawn and grounds of the festival are bumpy and uneven, but there is an accessible sidewalk ramp near the entry tent at the corner of S. Nassau and Francis streets.

Festival staff will be available to help with reserved seating under the tent.

Attendees needed special seat need to request those accommodations when they buy their tickets.

For those who need cash, there will be an ATM on-site. There is another ATM off-site at  SunTrust Bank, Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square, 202 N. Henry St.

Those who have questions during the event can visit the lost and found tent.

Medical assistance will be available under a tent to the right of the stage.

What you can and can’t bring

As is the case with many music festivals, there are some restrictions on things attendees can bring inside the festival gates.

First, all bags and other containers are subject to search.

Blankets, cushions and chairs are welcome at the festival, but chairs cannot be brought inside the performance tent.

Chairs used on the lawn cannot recline, hold umbrellas or have foot extensions. They must be a “low profile”; the backs cannot be more than 32 inches off the ground.

Chairs will be inspected upon entry to the festival, the Virginia Arts Festival said.

Attendees cannot bring glass, coolers or outside food, but food and beverages will be available for purchase.

One bottle of factory-sealed water is allowed per person.

Other items not permitted in the festival include:

  • Umbrellas over 12” in length when closed. (Small umbrellas for inclement weather only are permitted however are not allowed to be used for shade as it interferes with enjoyment of others)
  • Pets, except service animals with appropriate paperwork
  • Weapons
  • Flammable lanterns, candles or fire of any kind
  • Fireworks or any types of explosives
  • Hula hoops, Frisbees, balls
  • Tables
  • Hoverboards, skates, skateboards, or bikes
  • Drones
  • Laser Pointers
  • Banners and signs

Food and drink

Alewerks Brewing Company and Billsburg Brewery will both be making exclusive brews for the event, according to a news release from the Virginia Arts Festival.

In addition to specialty drinks, guests will have an array of food available from the following food trucks:

  • Prost, makes handmade sausages, schnitzel and other German favorites
  • Food-A-Tude, has fresh takes on county fair classics like Lobster Tail Corndogs
  • Matchsticks BBQ, makes low, slow and wood-smoked BBQ foodie favorites
  • Colonial Williamsburg Huzzah’s, makes the Juicy Lucy burger, jumbo pretzels, and more
  • VA Blue Crab Co., makes fresh-caught crabs in inspired dishes
  • Chesapeake Concessions serves refreshing iced teas, lemonade and more
  • Joysicles, makes one-of-a-kind flavors like Sweet Corn Coconut or Peach Jalapeño
  • Cast Iron Catering Co., serves slow-roasted BBQ and sumptuous sides
  • Capt’n Crabby, provides Zagat Award-winning crabtastic fare
  • State Fair Kettle Corn, popped from locally grown corn
  • Little Piggy’s Wurst Nightmare, makes North Carolina BBQ on fries, nachos, and more
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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