Fifteen summer comedy shows hosted by comedian/actor Dave Chappelle have been approved in Yellow Springs, according to a Miami Township Board of Zoning Appeals application.
The temporary conditional use request brought to the board by Steve Wirrig on May 3 passed with a vote of 4-0. Wirrig is the owner of Wirrig Pavilion, a rural property in Yellow Springs where Chappelle has performed “cornfield shows” the past three summers. Celebrity guests have included Ali Wong, Chris Rock, Chelsea Handler, John Mayer, David Letterman, Jon Stewart and more.
“Mr. Chappelle and his team would like the opportunity to conduct a limited run of additional shows this summer, between June 1st and October 8th, to further highlight the success and national recognition of these events in our community,” Wirrig wrote in his zoning application. “While Mr. Chappelle could be conducting shows at mass theaters around the world, he would like to conduct this string of shows to further honor his community.”
In the document, Wirrig referenced Chappelle’s past shows, which began during the COVID-19 pandemic with Chappelle’s “intimate socially distanced” series “Dave Chappelle and Friends.” More installments occurred in 2021 and 2022.
Wirrig said the shows give recognition and positive media attention to the area, making the community more attractive for growth. He emphasized Chappelle draws crowds from all over the country, and those diverse attendees shop local and lodge near the village. The shows also employ local law enforcement, security, food vendors, production crews and more.
“It is a humorous respite in the open field surrounded by native Ohio woodlands,” Wirrig noted in the application. “Patrons often cite the peacefulness of the surroundings and the chance for a good laugh as an experience that positively impacts their mental health.”
According to the permit, the shows will be limited to 1,000 ticketholders and only 200 cars can be parked at the property. Food trucks and local vendors have been approved to be at the show, and a busing service will transport any overflow to the venue. Shows were also stipulated to not be held on Sundays unless it is a holiday weekend, and no more than three shows will be presented in a single week.