Variance approved to allow Dave Chappelle to host comedy shows in Yellow Springs this summer

Credit: Owen Sweeney

Credit: Owen Sweeney

Comedian Dave Chappelle is expected to host up to 24 comedy shows this summer at the Wirrig Pavilion outside Yellow Springs.

The Board of Zoning Appeals of Miami Twp. Thursday approved a property zoning variance request by the pavilion’s owner to host the shows.

Steve Wirrig, owner of the Wirrig Pavilion, located at 4866 U.S. 68, requested 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.”

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

However, Zopf said the zoning variance was unanimously approved to allow for the shows and will limit the Wirrig Pavilion to no more than three shows per week.

Chappelle and his team plans to conduct up to a maximum of 24 shows between May 26 and Sept. 5.

“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.
  • 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.

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.