The last month or so has seen more and more venues and theater spaces open up around the country. This is a stark contrast to last year, where if you were a big name comic who wanted to perform somewhere for a live audience, there was one of few places to do so that wasn’t a drive-in: A cornfield in rural Ohio.
Dave Chappelle spent all last summer – and even some time this summer – hosting outdoor, socially distanced shows in Yellow Springs, Ohio. The people who showed up went far beyond local talent. Some of the attendees included Chris Rock, Michael Che, Trevor Noah, Louis C.K., David Letterman, Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Michelle Wolf, Bob Saget, Jeff Ross, Jon Stewart, Jon Hamm, and so many more. It was by and large the place to be last year for comedy fans.
However, all good things must come to an end. According to the Dayton Daily News, it sounds as if Chappelle is not moving forward with Camp Chappelle. And it actually sounds like this was the plan all along.
Wirrig Pavilion is where the shows were hosted, just outside of Yellow Springs. Back in May of last year, the space was granted a limited permit, with the caveat being that this would only be until entertainment venues opened up. The permit expired last month, and the zoning inspector for the Miami Township (yes, we’re still talking about Ohio) Richard Zopf stated that there are presently no plans to appeal the permit’s expiration.
“The justification for the permit hinged on compensating for pandemic induced problems. The request is worded such that performances are no longer permitted when traditional venues are available,” Zopf told the Dayton Daily News.
This stipulation was actually brought on by Chappelle it sounds like. Once venues began opening up, Chappelle stated at the time that he would not “need to use the space in the same way.” And as the space is zoned specifically for “agriculture” and not that of a live performance space, it sounds like it would also not be possible to continue performances beyond an emergency state.
“Our comprehensive plan indicates we would like to maintain the agricultural/rural nature of the township,” Zopf continued. “Consequently, very few commercial activities outside of agriculture are permitted.”
So there you have it. But just because Chappelle is leaving the pavilion behind, that doesn’t mean he’s turning his back on bringing live entertainment to his local home of Ohio. On the contrary, actually. It was reported that he had purchased an old Yellow Springs fire station to turn that into a comedy club. So there’s that to look forward to at least! From Camp Chappelle to Club Chappelle.