Funhouse Fest returns with Bruce Hornsby, Sheryl Crow

Contact Reporterjoblack@dailypress.com

Williamsburg's Funhouse Festival returns for a second year this June with multiple performances by host Bruce Hornsby and an appearance by pop-country singer Sheryl Crow.

The festival is the brainchild of the Virginia Arts Festival and Hornsby, a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and Williamsburg native. Funhouse, named after a Hornsby song, will be held June 23-25 on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

"I think everybody was optimistic going into it last year as part of our 20th season celebration," said Robert Cross, Virginia Arts Festival executive director. "Everybody said, yeah we want to do this again. It was a no-brainer."

Hornsby will perform with his band The Noisemakers on the Friday and Saturday nights of the festival. Sunday; he'll be joined by Noisemaker drummer Sonny Emory.

Crow, a nine-time Grammy winner, is known for hits like "All I Wanna Do," "If It Makes You Happy," and "The First Cut is the Deepest." She releases her 10th album, "Be Myself," in April.

"We're thrilled Sheryl is going to headline one of the nights," Cross said. "We wanted to have a wide appeal."

Also scheduled to perform is rock band Lake Street Drive on Saturday, and folk-bluegrass artist Rhiannon Giddens on Sunday. The festival has promised a few surprise guests in a tribute to Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

In a news release from the Virginia Arts Festival, Hornsby said the group of performers are "unique and stylistically varied."

More than 6,200 people attended last year from as far as Boston and North Carolina.

"When people come from out of town, they stay in our hotels, timeshares and bed and breakfasts. They dine in our restaurants and buy souvenirs and gifts — just what we need for a successful tourism season," said city of Williamsburg spokeswoman Lee Ann Hartmann via email.

In anticipation of the crowd, the festival has added a second stage to feature emerging artists and give patrons nonstop access to music.

Though the dates of Funhouse are the same as the Hampton Jazz Festival, as they were last year, Cross doesn't expect it to be an issue.

"There was no hesitation. I think there's a big enough audience in the market that it didn't hurt us or them," he said.

Food trucks, craft breweries and wineries will be on site all weekend.

Tickets go on sale for Funhouse Festival on Friday. They can be purchased at FunhouseFest.com, by phone at 757-282-2822 or at the VAF box office (440 Bank St., Norfolk).

Black can be reached by phone at 757-247-4607.

Funhouse Fest schedule

Friday, June 23

Gates open at 6 p.m. Performances begin at 7:15 p.m.

•Sheryl Crow.

•Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers.

Saturday, June 24

Gates open at 1 p.m., performances begin at 4.

•Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers (Bruce sings Jerry: The Music of the Grateful Dead with the Staves and special guests).

•Lake Street Dive.

•The Staves.

•Kenny Garrett.

•yMusic.

Sunday, June 25

Gates open at 1 p.m., performances begin at 3 p.m.

•Rhiannon Giddens.

•The Staves with yMusic.

•Bruce Hornsby and Sonny Emory Duo.

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