Dr. Phillips Center "Frontyard Festival kicks" off Sat Dec 5

dr. phillips center REVEALS opening date, ADDITIONAL DETAILS and primary FOCUS OF new six-month LIVE-entertainment FESTIVAL

-- New Frontyard FestivalTM to help raise awareness for

efforts and funding to #SaveOurStages --

-- Socially-distanced festival venue first of its kind in the U.S. --

 Before a group of community leaders, elected officials and business partners, Dr. Phillips Center today revealed more details about Frontyard FestivalTM, an innovative, six-month live-entertainment event that will re-engage artists and guests in a safe, socially-distanced setting. And while the festival, which kicks off Saturday, December 5, will help return live music, comedy, dance, film and wellness to Orlando, it will also shed light on efforts and funding needed to sustain live venues and entertainment organizations across the country.

“The big idea is to use this platform to uplift our community and raise awareness about how COVID-19 has devastated our entire industry,” said Kathy Ramsberger, president and CEO of Dr. Phillips Center. “After eight long months, it’s immensely rewarding to produce and present live programming again, but our overarching objective is to draw attention to the long, difficult road ahead.

Frontyard Festival will take place in a specially-built, three-acre outdoor theater, whose design elements—sleek wood fencing, stainless steel accents and lush greenery—are inspired by sunny, outdoor patios and front porches. Now under construction, the venue will feature hundreds of private, elevated boxes placed six feet from one another, allowing guests to enjoy a concert or film, or take part in a fitness class, while keeping a healthy distance from others. 

“The Dr. Phillips Center has met head on the challenges facing performing arts and live entertainment venues all over the world,” said Steven Wolff, CMC, founding principal of AMS Planning & Research and AMS Analytics, which provide national consulting services in the arts, cultural and entertainment industries.

“The entire live performance industry has been decimated,” Wolff said. “Major tours have been cancelled, local productions are limited and theater capacities are dramatically reduced due to social distancing requirements. Most guests just aren’t sure it’s safe to return to indoor venues. The recent surge has further impacted audience readiness and we have a way to go before our patrons will return to our traditional venues. I expect their solution will be watched and may even be replicated in other markets, because there’s nothing like it, anywhere else in the country.”  

In her remarks, Ramsberger urged guests to join Dr. Phillips Center and the National Independent Venue Association in efforts to urge Congress to pass federal relief for live entertainment venues and arts organizations.

“This is an exciting day for us, but we can’t lose sight of the very serious financial situation we are in right now. We need your help.”

 Entertainment Line-Up

Frontyard Festival, presented by AdventHealth with support from the City of Orlando, Orange County and a host of other sponsors, will officially launch Saturday, December 5 with co-headliners Citizen Cope and G Love & the Juice. Singer-songwriter Citizen Cope (Clarence Greenwood) came out of the Washington, D.C. music scene and is known for his high-energy mashup of funky vibes and positive, life-affirming lyrics. G Love & the Juice is an alternative hip-hop band from Philadelphia known for its unique and laid-back R&B undertones.

December’s line-up also includes: 

·         Sunday, Dec 6 – Songs of the Season. A heartwarming holiday tradition technically produced by Full Sail University and featuring musicians and vocalists from Rollins College music department.

·         Wednesday, Dec 9 – Ragtime. Students from Dr. Phillips Center’s AdventHealth School of the Arts will present a uniquely reimagined, socially distant version of this Broadway smash hit.

·         Thursday, Dec 10 – An Evening with Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires. An unforgettable night with four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Jason Isbell and Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and violinist Amanda Shires.

·         Friday, Dec 11 – WJRR’s Acoustic Christmas: Smith & Myers of Shinedown. An acoustic “side project” from Shinedown frontman Brent Smith and guitarist Zach Myers.

·         Saturday, Dec 12 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild & Swingin’ Holiday Party. A raucous feel-good show full of holiday classics from the contemporary swing revival band from Southern California.

·         Tuesday, Dec 15 – CFCArts Presents Noel: The Carols of Christmas. The wonder and joy of the holiday season will be on full display in this performance by CFCArts’ community choir and orchestra.

·         Saturday, Dec 19 – Michael James Scott’s A Fierce Christmas. The star of Broadway’s Disney ALADDIN returns to his native Orlando to officially launch his first holiday album, “A Fierce Christmas,” accompanied by a 12-piece band and 16-voice choir sourced from local youth theater programs and churches.

·         Tuesday, Dec 22 – Victory Productions Presents: The Christmas Tenors. Internationally acclaimed operatic tenors Fernando Varela, Craig Irvin and Devin Eatmon, with The Villages Philharmonic Orchestra under the guidance of Maestro Pasquale Valerio

·         Wednesday, Dec 23 – Mega Latin Christmas with El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. Central Florida’s largest Latin holiday celebration starring world-renowned salsa orchestra El Gran Combo along with other musical acts.

The arts center has also confirmed several shows for 2021, including performances by Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Septet with Wynton Marsalis, Step Afrika, Keb’ Mo’, Tye Tribbett,  Bethune Cookman University Concert Chorale, Orlando Gay Chorus, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and UCF Celebrates the Arts.

 All December shows and a number of others taking place in 2021 go on sale tomorrow, November 20 at 10 a.m. at frontyardfestival.org. Festival-goers are encouraged to check online and follow Dr. Phillips Center on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for future announcements, on-sale dates, and more information.  

Other Programming Partners 

While the arts center is curating and presenting shows for the festival, its programming team has also partnered with several local organizations to keep the venue active seven days a week.

·         The arts center will team up with Foundation Presents—which operates The Social and The Beacham—and iHeartMedia, which owns and operates 12 local radio stations such as WJRR, Rumba and Magic 107.7, to book shows and celebrities throughout the six-month event.

·         YMCA of Central Florida will manage morning health and wellness classes free to the public. When registering for a class at FrontyardFestival.org, each participant will select a private box and will be required to bring their own equipment such as yoga mats and water bottles. A start date will be announced soon and an initial weekly schedule will likely include:

o    Mondays and Fridays at 7:15 a.m. – Yoga

o    Tuesdays at 9 a.m. – Boot Camp

o    Wednesdays at 7:15 a.m. – Boot Camp

o    Thursdays at 9 a.m. – Yoga

o    Fridays at 7:15 a.m. – Yoga

o    Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. – Yoga, followed by Zumba at 10 a.m.

·         In partnership with the Central Florida Music Association, Dr. Phillips Center is producing a free “Live and Local” lunch series in which association members will provide live entertainment from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is no charge for admission and guests will be able to order food and beverages from on-site restaurants that will rotate weekly. Wages for the artists will be supported by OUC.

 How It Works

Ticketing and seating for festival shows will be different than those inside the arts center. Rather than purchase individual tickets, festival guests will select their own private box for up to five people. Boxes will have a minimum seat requirement that will vary by show.

Pricing will vary based on the artist, box location and minimum number of tickets guests must purchase. For instance, boxes for opening night have a four-seat minimum and range from $184 for a front-row box in front of the stage to $144 for a box closer to Orange Avenue. Two 16’ x 28’ LED screens will be located on either side of the main stage to ensure good visibility and an exceptional experience. 

Guests will have the opportunity to pre-order food and beverage items from on-site restaurant partners: Toasted, Tap Room at Dubsdread and Nikki’s Place, along with a variety of concepts from local restaurant entrepreneur Harp & Cork: Dharma Fine Vittles, Oak Flame Pizza, Eola General, Sea Legs, and Juniper Patisserie.

Contactless ordering will take place through guests’ own mobile devices either before or after arrival, and food and drinks—including beer, wine and cocktails—will be delivered directly to their boxes.

Event Sponsors and Contributors

Arts center officials today also recognized the many corporate sponsors who are helping fund the festival’s infrastructure and operations. Hundreds of artists, instructors, crews, sound and lighting technicians, food-service workers, security personnel, maintenance and housekeeping employees, guest service representatives and many others will participate in the festival.


“AdventHealth and the Dr. Phillips Center began our partnership many years ago, as we know the arts can have a significant positive impact on our health – body, mind and spirit,” said Sharon Line Clary, vice president of marketing and communications for AdventHealth Central Florida. AdventHealth has been a longstanding supporter of the arts center, and together, they opened the AdventHealth School of the Arts in 2015. Through the partnership, the organizations have provided arts education and opportunities for Central Floridians of all ages, and also researched the impact the arts has on caregivers of people with memory disorders. AdventHealth physicians have provided the Dr. Phillips Center with guidance on how to safely re-open and prepare for the festival.   


“We applaud the Dr. Phillips Center and our local leaders for their innovation in bringing the arts back to Central Florida,” Clary said. “We are proud to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center and the Frontyard Festival presented by AdventHealth. It’s one more way we can support our community, the many performers and artists, and help our neighbors feel whole.”    

In addition to AdventHealth, the City of Orlando and Orange County, other festival sponsors, and contributors include: Ravago Americas, Vystar Credit Union, American Momentum, Experience Kissimmee, Fifth Third Bank, OUC, Massey Services, Pepsi, Florida Blue, City Beverages, Hilton Destinations, TD Charitable Foundation, WESH 2 & CW18, iHeartMedia, Clear Channel Outdoor, Orlando Weekly and Watermark Publishing Group. 

Whiting-Turner Construction, OP-AV, Spirit Scaffolding, Rosen Hotels and Carpe Diem have provided in-kind support; other contributions have been received from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation, Bob Vander Weide and Shelby Norwich, Progressive Distribution and Wild Ocean Seafood.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many for their early support and confidence in the concept,” said Ramsberger. “With your support, we’ve turned a paper exercise into a full-fledged reality that’s coming together right before our eyes. You have our heartfelt thanks.”

Health & Safety First

To keep guests properly distanced, each private guest box will be placed six feet from one another.

Additional health and safety protocols—developed with guidance from federal, state and local health authorities and the arts center’s partner, AdventHealth—follow:

·         The festival will be completely contained within a six-foot perimeter fence with two secure entrances, so that all guests may be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

·       Touchless temperature and bag checks will be performed prior to entry. Any guest with a temperature of 100.4 or more (CDC guidance), or exhibiting physical symptoms, will not be permitted to enter.

·         Masks will be required:

o   at all times by all event staff

o   for all artists and their team members, unless they are actively performing on stage

o   for all guests, unless they are actively eating or drinking in their boxes 

·         Food will be available for pre-purchase prior to arrival. Once guests been seated in their boxes, they will use a food-ordering app and have their food delivered directly to their box to keep walk-up ordering (and potential crowding) to a minimum

·        Before each performance, all guest areas—including every box—will be thoroughly sanitized using hospital-grade disinfectant.

 About Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization operating the state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Fla. With its opening in November 2014, the arts center has become a gathering place for creativity and discovery, and a vibrant urban destination where artists, audiences and students come to experience, explore and learn. The two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, Seneff Arts Plaza, AdventHealth School of the Arts, the DeVos Family Room and other event rental spaces. Under construction is Steinmetz Hall, a 1,700-seat acoustical theater, along with rehearsal, classroom, office space and commercial development spaces. Dr. Phillips Center collaborates with the City of Orlando, Orange County, the City of Winter Park, the State of Florida and generous donors 

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