Freeman Stage Books 13 National Acts; Diverse Lineup Announced For Summer Concert Series

Freeman Stage Books 13 National Acts; Diverse Lineup Announced For Summer Concert Series

Chris Shearer

Contributing Writer

SELBYVILLE — Thirteen national recording artists headline a diverse 2016 lineup of more than 50 performances at the Freeman Stage at Bayside this season.

During Thursday’s official lineup reveal by the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation in Selbyville, the curtain was pulled back on this year’s artist roster, which includes three Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, 64 Grammy nominations, 37 Grammy awards, nine Country Music Association (CMA) nominations, and three CMA awards, two Oscar nominations and one Academy Award winner.

Former American Idol winner Phillip Phillips will perform a co-headlining show with singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson on June 29, followed by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes on July 2, and the powerhouse sibling country trio The Band Perry on July 3.

The Band Perry’s last album, released in 2013, earned them four top 10 hits and two number one singles. The rising country music stars are Grammy, CMA and American Music Award winners.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the variety of artists that our ninth season will offer to our guests,” said Patti Grimes, executive director of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation. “We hope the performances in 2016 will expose new patrons to our diverse offerings and the importance of the arts in community, while continuing to be an inspiration to families to come together for lifelong memories.”

The Joshua M. Freeman Foundation was founded in 2007 to honor Josh Freeman, the former chair of the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, after his passing in 2006. In 2008, the first season at The Freeman Stage, 13,500 patrons visited the venue. Last year 51,000 patrons came to the stage and expectations for this year are high considering the wealth of talent booked through the summer.

Country star Justin Moore was named the 2014 Academy of Country Music Awards Best New Artist and will perform on July 7, while legendary female rockers Pat Benatar and Melissa Etheridge will share the stage on July 13.

The Beach Boys will take the stage on on July 14, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their infamous record “Pet Sounds” followed by the swinging sounds of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies on July 16.

Huey Lewis will take the stage July 27 with his band The News. Since the 80s, the Grammy award winning band has registered 19 top 10 hits and sold well over 30 million albums. Last year, the band celebrated the 30th anniversary of the release of their album “Sports”, and the release of the track “The Power of Love” that was used on the Back to Future soundtrack. That single earned them a “Best Original Song” Academy Award nomination in 1986.

Yo-Yo Ma, widely considered to be the world’s most famous classical musician, will perform on Aug. 10. The 17-time Grammy award winning cellist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient will be performing with his Silk Road Ensemble and is surely going to be one of the highlight concerts in the summer series.

Rounding out the national artists will be an evening with the “Empress of Soul” Gladys Knight, on Aug. 19. Knight and her band The Pips became huge stars in the 1960’s, recording hits songs like “I heard it through the Grapevine” for Motown records and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” In 1996, Knight and the Pips were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.

In addition to the national recording artists on the Freeman Stage’s lineup sheet, there are a number of popular tribute acts including Hotel California — A Salute to the Eagles; ABBA the Concert: A Tribute to ABBA; Classic Albums Live: David Bowie, and A Temptations Revue featuring Bo Henderson.

On Sept. 9, Bruce in the USA, a Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tribute act, will perform and special guests from Operation SEAs the Day — a week-long beach event for wounded veterans and their families — will be in attendance.

The Freeman Stage at Bayside, located in the Bayside community at the intersections of routes 54 and 20, will kick-off this season at 7 p.m. May 24 with a performance by The Acrobats of Cirque-tacular. Regular weekly performances will continue with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra on June 17.

To see a list of the entire Freeman Stage lineup, which could see a couple new additions it was hinted at Thursday’s announcement, click over to