COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Comedian and Yellow Springs resident Dave Chappelle has announced a series of hometown shows titled “Dave Chappelle and Friends.”
According to a release, the performances are scheduled for June 9-11 at Wirrig Pavilion.
The shows have a strict “no cell phones allowed” policy, with requirements such as placing phones in a locked pouch, pat-downs and “wandings.” Fans are also warned that “anyone caught with a cell phone inside the venue will be immediately ejected.”
Chappelle’s summer comedy tradition in Yellow Springs began in 2020 with a series of socially distanced shows. Taking place during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, the live outdoor performances, known as “Chappelle Summer Camp,” also featured other famous comedians. Concerns about a possible COVID-19 exposure shut down the events in late September 2020, however, the shows returned briefly in spring 2021.
This year, planning for the return of Chappelle’s summer performances in the small Ohio town began months ago with the approval of “a temporary conditional use request by property owner Steve Wirrig,” as noted by YSNEWS.com, the online version of “The Yellow Springs News.”
“I’m elated,” Wirrig told the YSNEWS.com after the more than three-hour meeting that ended with “extended applause” at the favorable outcome. “I’m very proud and appreciative of the support.”
The April 2022 decision by the Miami Township Board of Zoning Appeals also reveals that more Chappelle shows could be scheduled, as the vote allows for “three shows per week, up to a maximum, of 24 total, from May 26 through Sept. 5.”
The comedian and film producer has encountered a number of recent controversies beginning with his 2021 Netflix special “The Closer,” in which comments he made about transgender people led to a protest and employee walkout outside the streaming company’s headquarters in Los Angeles. He responded with a roughly 5-minute video posted to his Instagram account where he asked fans the question, “Am I canceled or not?”
In a subsequent October 2021 performance at the Hollywood Bowl Chappelle received a standing ovation and told the audience, “If this is what being canceled is like, I love it,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In February 2022 he refuted reports that he “killed” an affordable housing development plan near his home after a video of him speaking out against the project at a Yellow Springs Village Council meeting was widely circulated online.
Most recently, he was attacked on stage during his Hollywood Bowl performance at the “Netflix is a Joke” comedy festival.
“Thank you, sir. It was a … it was a trans man,” Chappelle quipped to the crowd after recovering from the stunning assault.
“Dave Chappelle and Friends” tickets go on sale Friday, June 3 at 3 p.m.