Freeman Stage To Host 10 National Recording Artists

Joshua M. Freeman Foundation President and Chair Michelle Freeman, left, speaks during this week’s press conference after the lineup was officially unveiled. Photo by Joanne Shriner

OCEAN CITY – The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation announced on Wednesday morning that The Freeman Stage at Bayside will mark its seventh season of bringing arts and entertainment to the Mid-Atlantic region with 10 national recording artists.

The Freeman Stage has attracted over 160,000 audience members since 2008, with a diverse offering of dance, theatre, live music and children’s performances. Located just four miles from the Atlantic Ocean in Selbyville, Del., the Stage has partnered to present over 300 different performing artists, which include both local and national acts.

The 2014 season will include over 50 performances between Memorial Day and Labor Day, including the 10 national recording artists, which is double the number offered in the 2013 season. Combined, performers have won over 20 Grammy Awards and two are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“During the past six years, we have enriched our programming at The Freeman Stage at Bayside to present seasoned entertainers, and also to uncover new artists and works of art to our patrons,” Joshua M. Freeman Foundation President and Chair Michelle Freeman said just prior to announcing the lineup. “This season we invite you to a stage of your life. We understand the evolving perks we need and the desires of our patrons. We have listened. You have participated in surveys and have let us know what you like, your suggestions and we have taken that and turned it into what you are about to hear. The 2014 season will bring a fusion of classic and contemporary artists for generations to attend performances at this stage. We expect to see family reunions enjoying music under the stars, or date nights and dancing girls’ nights out, as well as grandparents and their grandchildren enjoying these fine art performances.”

The 10 headliners are Bruce Hornsby on July 2, Aaron Neville Duo on July 11, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on July 12, Wynton Marsalis with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra on July 19, Barenaked Ladies on July 2, Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam on July 25, The Beach Boys on July 27, Firefall on Aug. 8, Jennifer Nettles on Aug. 9 and David Nail on Aug. 13.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the mix of classic and contemporary artists that our seventh season will offer to our community,” Executive Director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation Patti Grimes said. “So many gifted and award-winning artists are scheduled to grace our beautiful stage. We hope that the performances in 2014 will expose new patrons to our diverse offerings and the importance of arts in the community, while continuing to be an inspiration for generations of families to come together for lifelong memories.

Among other performances scheduled this season are such crowd favorites as the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, Clear Space Theatre Group, Jesse Garron’s tribute to Elvis and the First State Ballet Theatre.

Also returning in 2014 are the Arts & Jazz Festival, local artist John Donato, Tommy Edward as Sir Rod, tribute band, Hotel California: “A Salute to the Eagles” and Bruce in the USA, whose performance will include special guests in the audience from Operation SEAs the Day – a beach week event held in September for veterans who are recovering from injuries sustained while serving our country.

Two nights of “Locals Under the Lights”, where local artists will have their moment in the spotlight, will also be back in 2014. Performers new to the outdoor stage this summer include Vocal Trash, winner of NBC’s “Phenomenon” Mike Super, Darrah Carr Dance, the Shaun Johnson Big Band, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Grammy Award winner Cristina Pato, and many more.

The Freeman Stage at Bayside will officially kickoff the 2014 season on the evening of May 24 with a performance of Rhythmic Circus’ “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!”, a family fun event featuring world class dance and live music.

Regular weekly performances at The Freeman Stage will commence on June 20 with a performance by the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, who will be joined by The Vallely Brothers Duo, and also approximately 100 students from John M. Clayton Elementary School.

“Because of the generous support of organizations like our Season Sponsors – Sodoka, Inc. Charitable Foundation, and Schell Brothers – we are able to offer free admission to 50 percent of our performances. This year, we welcome back the PNC Foundation as a sponsor of our Saturday morning children’s performances. It’s these kinds of partnerships that are necessary for the continued success of our mission at The Freeman Stage at Bayside and in our communities,” Grimes said.

The Freeman Stage is a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, which aims to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all. This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Grant support is also provided by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, the Sussex County Council, and the State of Delaware.

“There are many sponsors and hundreds of volunteers who support our team to deliver one great patron experience after another at The Freeman Stage at Bayside. Thank you for being a partner in this journey. The arts change the fabric of our community; they create hope and life long memories,” Freeman said.

Tickets for all paid performances will go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 21 at 10 a.m. For more information on this season’s events, or to find out how to volunteer at The Freeman Stage, call 302-436-3015 or visit