Dave Chappelle could host comedy shows in Yellow Springs this summer; public hearing to decide

Dave Chappelle, who lives just outside of Yellow Springs, speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, on Oct. 30, 2021, in Cleveland. Dave Chappelle & Friends will take over the Hollywood Bowl April 28-30 and May 3 as part of Netflix is a Joke: The Festival. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

caption arrowCaption
Dave Chappelle, who lives just outside of Yellow Springs, speaks onstage during the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, on Oct. 30, 2021, in Cleveland. Dave Chappelle & Friends will take over the Hollywood Bowl April 28-30 and May 3 as part of Netflix is a Joke: The Festival. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

The Board of Zoning Appeals of Miami Twp. will hold a public hearing Thursday night in Yellow Springs to decide whether Wirrig Pavilion can host Dave Chappelle in a limited run of comedy shows with guest artists this summer.

Steve Wirrig, owner of the Wirrig Pavillion, located at 4866 U.S. 68, is requesting a temporary use variance for his property to be “temporarily utilized in a limited seating capacity for the purpose of hosting ticketed Dave Chappelle’s comedy shows,” according to the application. The application was filed March 21.

Miami Twp. Zoning Inspector Richard Zopf previously explained that the property is zoned for agriculture, and the township’s comprehensive plan calls for keeping most property in the township zoned for agriculture.

Chappelle and his team would like to conduct up to a maximum of 24 shows between May 26 and Sept. 5, according to the application.

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“Shows will not be held on Sundays, except when there is a three-day holiday weekend, with the holiday resting on a Monday, being the Sundays of May 29, July 3, and September 4,” the application said.

The application further details seating capacity, hours of operation, parking information, sound system use and vendors as follows:

  • The hours of operation would begin at 5 p.m. for parking, with gates to the pavilion opening at 7:30 p.m. All shows would be completed by 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and by 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
  • The shows will have no more than 1,000 ticketed patrons.
  • A maximum of 200 patron cars will be parked on the property. The remaining patrons will be bused to the pavilion from local parking areas.
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  • The event sound system and portable lighting for the parking areas are designed and operated to minimize impact on surrounding properties.
  • A maximum of four local food trucks will be at the venue.

Wirrig Pavilion was previously granted a temporary use permit in May 2020 by Miami Twp. that allowed for outdoor performances by Chappelle until entertainment venues reopened due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“A third-party impact study concluded the run of shows generated over $10 million in direct economic relief to local community members and business owners, as well local and state tax revenues,” the application said.

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Zopf said Wednesday there are “people in the nearer areas of the shows who have had their normal routines upset by the performances and aren’t exactly pleased by it. But, there are people in that same area that it doesn’t bother them at all.”

This news organization reached out to Chappelle’s publicist, Carla Simms, about the possibility of additional shows.

“If they approve it – great,” she said. “If it’s not approved, then you know we definitely have other plans.”

Chappelle does have plans to go on tour this summer.

“While Mr. Chappelle could be conducting shows at mass theaters around the world; he would like to conduct this limited string of shows to further honor his community and continue the positive impacts to Miami Twp. and the surrounding area through additional economic benefits and national attention,” the application said.

A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 28 at the Miami Twp. fire station. Zopf said there is limited seating.

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