More than a year after COVID-19 forced the Freeman Arts Pavilion to pause its plan for its 13th season, the arts nonprofit has announced its 2021 summer lineup.
A week before the venue’s scheduled season reveal in 2020, the nation began a supposed two-week lockdown. Like many, Freeman Arts Pavilion, a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, pivoted with the ever-changing health guidelines outlined by state and federal officials.
Last year was devastating for many arts organizations around the world, but Freeman Arts staff and board of directors were determined to provide access to the arts for residents and visitors to Delmarva. In 2020, the nonprofit presented a smaller season, featuring local favorites, tribute acts and regional artists to crowds of less than 15 percent capacity.
Now entering its 14th season, the Freeman Arts Pavilion is honored to “press play,” on a season that includes dance, theater, children’s performances and live music.
Headlining performances include Indigo Girls, June 18; The Mavericks, June 25; Jake Owen, June 26; Clint Black, July 2; Don McLean, July 3; Fitz & The Tantrums, July 10; Grace Potter, July 11; Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, July 16; Amos Lee, July 23; comedian Kathleen Madigan, July 24; REO Speedwagon, July 27; Jamey Johnson, July 29; Leslie Odom Jr., July 30; Straight No Chaser, July 31; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Aug. 7; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Aug. 8; ABBA The Concert, Aug. 12; Black Violin, Aug. 13; Train, Aug. 14; Tower of Power, Aug. 19; Foreigner, Aug. 21; Steve Earle and Los Lobos, Aug. 26; The Commodores, Aug. 27; Melissa Etheridge, Aug. 28; Blackberry Smoke, Sept. 10; Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sept. 17 and Earth, Wind & Fire, Sept. 25.
Crowd favorites who will once again grace the stage include the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the First State Ballet and Brown Box Theatre Project. The Young Audience Series, sponsored by the PNC Foundation, will take place every Saturday morning throughout the season.
Additional performances include Kashmir: The Live Led Zepplin Show, June 17; Austin Colby and Caroline Bowman will return with “Broadway Under the Stars: Stage and Screen Edition,” June 24; Yacht Rock Revue, July 1; Choir! Choir! Choir!, an interactive performance sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, July 8; EagleMania – The World's Greatest Eagles Tribute, July 22; Sonia De Los Santos, Aug. 11; Tartan Terrors, Aug. 18; The Bronx Wanderers, Sept. 4; and A1A – The Official and Original Jimmy Buffett Tribute Show, Sept. 11.
“The mission of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation has been to provide access to the arts since its inception,” said Patti Grimes, executive director. “We worked diligently to continue that mission in 2020 and are thrilled to be able to present a robust season of diverse arts programming as we present our 14th season at our new venue, Freeman Arts Pavilion.”
Seating for performances through July 31 will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 22. The remaining performances will go on sale at a later date to be announced.
“As we work with local, regional and national touring artists, we will remain flexible as they navigate the logistics of tours, which may allow us to add artists to our rosters as those tours continue to come together,” Grimes said.
Along with contactless entry and cashless concessions, this season will feature pod seating, which can accommodate up to four people with proper physical distancing. Masks will be required upon entry, exit and when moving around the venue. Patrons will also bring their own chairs to all performances.
“As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, our top priority remains the health and safety of our staff, patrons and the artists,” Grimes said.
As an arts nonprofit, Freeman Arts can offer performances for all ages to enjoy with the support of local organizations, such as its Season Sponsors, which include Schell Brothers and Sodoka Inc. (Sara Chase Carlson). For more information, visit freemanarts.org.
Freeman Arts Pavilion is a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, with a purpose of creating experiences that elevate the human spirit. This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The division promotes Delaware arts events at DelawareScene.com. Grant support is also provided by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, Sussex County Council, and the State of Delaware.