The Blackburn announces SummerStage concert series
Developer Robin Miller announced Tuesday the debut of SummerStage @ The Blackburn, a new outdoor music venue on the grounds of The Blackburn Inn and Conference Center in Downtown Staunton.
Friday nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day will see a concert series focusing on Americana, Roots, country, folk and bluegrass bands from around the nation.
Building on The Blackburn’s work in 2020 partnering with local arts makers to produce one of the only live performance venues safely operating in North America during the height of the pandemic, SummerStage will offer socially distanced pod seating in a bring-your-own blanket or camp chair format, with food and beverage service provided by The Blackburn’s talented culinary staff.
“After a long winter, SummerStage celebrates the return of summer to The Blackburn’s beautiful grounds, safely reintroducing live music and in-person gatherings with friends and family under the Shenandoah Valley stars,” said Miller, owner of The Villages property and The Blackburn, “It fits with our efforts to assist in restarting the cultural economy of Staunton while providing invaluable work for artists doing what they do best: performing for live audiences.
“We look forward to folks grabbing a local brew or wine, enjoying the picnic box our chefs have prepared, bringing a blanket or camp chair, and claiming a square for what will be the beginning of a great new Staunton tradition: Friday night music at The Blackburn.”
Artists currently booked into the series between Memorial Day and Labor Day include Kentucky cello phenom composer Ben Sollee, New Grass troubadours Fireside Collective, triple fiddling pioneers of progressive western swing The Quebe Sisters, Virginia native singer-songwriter Bryan Elijah Smith, and old-time bluegrass legends Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, to name just a few among the stellar line-up that will be performing up close and personal on the lawn of The Blackburn.
“Staunton has a rich musical history as the home of the inimitable Statler Brothers,” Creative Director Nancy Anderson said. “SummerStage will be a place to feature the best Valley musicians alongside artists with national profiles. Music brings people together and nourishes the soul. In keeping with the bucolic setting, the music will reflect an acoustic approach that combines the best of old-time and contemporary sounds.”
For out-of-town guests, The Blackburn Inn and Conference Center will offer special room and concert packages, a perfect way to explore Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley for a getaway weekend.
“We’ve all been through a challenging year,” said The Blackburn General Manager Richard Smith. “SummerStage will offer audiences the security of outdoor gathering. We adhere to the Virginia Department of Health’s standards and recommendations in everything we do, which have safely guided us these last twelve months. I can’t think of a better way to come back from the pandemic year than to unwind under the stars at The Blackburn.”
Tickets go on sale April 19. The grounds will open at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 7 p.m. as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge, the twilight descends, and the stars come out over the impressive architecture on The Blackburn’s historic campus.
Audiences may reserve an eight-foot square blanket pod for up to four persons or a six-foot square chair pod for two via the online ticketing portal, as well as purchase parking and picnic box suppers in advance.
A wine and beer bar will offer a la carte drinks.
The intimate, 250 capacity venue will have affordable tickets priced between $25-$35 in advance and $40 (if available) at the door.
The Blackburn Inn and Conference Center’s Great Hall will serve as an alternate location in the event of inclement weather.
More information and details can be found at SummerStageVA.com.