Freeman Stage announces more big names in second reveal

It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights. The Freeman Stage has released “Volume 2” of their summer season lineup.

“This is going to be our biggest season yet. Get ready, because we are going to have 67 performances,” Executive Director Patti Grimes told the dinner crowd gathered April 9 at Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats in Rehoboth Beach. “The Freeman Stage wants to make sure everyone has access to the arts, so thank you for coming out tonight.”

With this inaugural open-to-the-public reveal, the Stage announced more than 40 performances, including kids’ shows, national acts, cultural performances and free shows. That includes country, R&B, rock, reggae and beatbox, salsa, pop and more.

Tickets for the newly announced shows go on sale to the general public Monday, April 16, at 10 a.m. Tickets are already available for shows announced in March. Details are online at

The new headliners include Alison Krauss on June 9; The Four Tops and The Temptations on July 2; Lee Brice on July 5; Boys II Men on July 12; Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Rick Springfield on July 23; Gov’t Mule on July 25; Matisyahu on July 26; Mary Chapin Carpenter on July 28; Gin Blossoms on Aug. 2; Postmodern Jukebox on Aug. 17; SOJA on Aug. 19; Michael Bolton on Aug. 31; Phillip Phillips and Gavin DeGraw on Sept. 1, and the Gipsy Kings on Sept. 16.

Founder Michelle Freeman encouraged people to share the stage with a friend, since “word-of-mouth and grassroots is how we’ve grown this thing,” she said.

“If you see something on this season and go, ‘What the hell is that?’ — Come! Come to that very thing! That’s how we grow as human beings,” Freeman added. “That’s how we expand our horizons.”

“There will be something for everyone,” said Grimes.

In addition to headlining acts, 45 percent of this season includes free performances, such as The Hunts, a family band from Chesapeake, Va., on June 28; magician Mike Super on July 11; David Engel’s Jedi Academy! workshop event on Aug. 1; and Step Afrika dancers on Aug. 17.

This summer’s tribute acts will celebrate Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Elton John and music hits through the decades.

Youth can enjoy free Young Audience programs on Saturday mornings and some weeknights, sponsored by the PNC Foundation.

In all, the 2018 performers have more than 68 Grammy awards, plus 80 nominations; 30 Country Music Association Awards and more than 50 nominations; 15 American Music Awards; a Tony Award; and two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions.

Located four miles west of Fenwick Island, the Freeman Stage is situated in the Bayside golf community. As a program of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation, the stage’s mission is to present memorable performances and provide inspired arts education for all.

Many sponsors and volunteers help the nonprofit stage host big names and bring free programs to schools, including more than 100,000 local students to date.

Major sponsors and grants come from Sarah Chase Carlson, Schell Brothers, the Meltzer Group, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Carl M. Freeman Foundation, the Sussex County Council and the State of Delaware, Delaware Division of the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.