The tents are up, the banners are waving and the soundboards are in position. Colonial Williamsburg is gearing up to host its first outdoor music festival.
Friday marks the beginning of Funhouse Fest, a one-of-a-kind event born from a collaboration between Virginia Arts Festival and local musician Bruce Hornsby. The festival will be staged on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
“People know something big is happening,” said Cynthia Carter West, Public Relations Director for Virginia Arts Festival.
While Hornsby, who is an investor in WYDaily’s parent company, Local Voice, will perform each day of the festival, additional performances will feature artists who have collaborated with or opened for Hornsby over the course of his 30-plus-year career.
“It’s all about the music,” said West. “It’s such an eclectic, fun group of musicians that Bruce has curated.”
The musicians include 14-time Grammy-winner Ricky Skaggs, singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, blues artists The Taj Mahal Trio, drummer Jack DeJohnette featuring Ravi Coltrane and Matt Garrison, vocalist Aoife O’Donovan, and the bands Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth and ChessBoxer.
While the musicians are big on sound, West says they will be low on volume. Virginia Arts Festival has been working closely with representatives from the City of Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg to handle the issue of noise, from choosing the event’s location to orienting the tents.
The Virginia Arts Festival also set an early curfew for the bands, out of respect for nearby residents. West says the extra measures to limit noise could end up being unnecessary.
“None of these are big rocks bands, these are acoustic folk groups,” said West. “It’s not like KISS will be playing.”
As for planning for next year, West says they’re taking it one step at a time.
“We’re going to take a good look and see how it goes,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to hold something like this again in the future.”
Thursday, June 23 at 8:00pm “An Evening With Bruce Hornsby” (Sold Out)
Friday, June 24, Gates open at 6:00pm, Performances begin at 7:15pm
Saturday, June 25, Gates open at 1:00pm, Performances begin at 4:00pm
Sunday, June 26, Gates open at 1:00pm, Performances begin at 3:00pm
Tickets are available at funhousefest.com, at the Virginia Arts Festival Box Office located at 440 Bank St. Norfolk, or by calling 757-282-2822. An on-site box office will sell tickets starting at 3 p.m. on Friday and noon Saturday and Sunday.
Single-day passes run from $29.25 to $100. Three-day passes run from $99.75 to$599; prices vary based on seating and VIP amenities.
Children under six are free in the lawn seating area. Any child in a reserved seat must have a ticket. Babies cannot be carried in the elite package tent areas.
Food and Drink
Festival organizers “highly suggest” bringing cash to the event, as some food vendors and all alcohol vendors are cash only. The food vendors are Gerty’s Gourmet Kitchen, New York Souvlaki, Paradise Bistro, Capt n’ Crabby, and Gyro & Kabab King. Click here to see a full list of available drinks.
Coolers and outside food and beverages, umbrellas, pets, weapons, flammable lanterns, candles or fire of any kind, fireworks or any types of explosives, hula hoops, banners and signs.
Funhouse Fest will be performed on the lawn of the Arts Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.
326 Francis St. W
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Update: The City of Williamsburg has released the following traffic advisory for both residents and attendees of Funhouse Fest.
What streets will be closed? Beginning Friday afternoon at 12:00 p.m., Francis Street between South Henry Street and Nassau Street will be closed to vehicle traffic until 12:00 a.m. on Sunday night. Traffic is being detoured around the event using Newport Avenue as the main thoroughfare.
Where to park? Concertgoers are strongly encouraged to park in the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center parking lot and take the free shuttle to the concert. While the City’s Prince George Parking Garage at 230 N. Henry Street will be open ($1 per hour) as will the City Square Parking Terrace (free) at 421 N. Boundary Street, both are about a half mile walking distance from the event and will fill up quickly. WATA (Williamsburg Area Transit Authority) offers transportation on the Trolley from New Town or High Street and will take guests to one of three trolley stops near Colonial Williamsburg.
Click here for more information about the festival.