After more than a year without the vibrant concert scene that Northeast music fans know and love, the new Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, CT promises a glimmer of hope this spring. The former home of the Pilot Pen tennis tournament, the New Haven stadium has been re-outfitted as the region’s premier outdoor concert venue for the social distancing era and beyond.
Beginning this weekend with a three-night run of Gov’t Mule shows including a Sunday, 5/2 performance featuring special guest Ann Wilson of Heart (tickets still available here), Westville Music Bowl will host a who’s who of the biggest acts from the jam scene and beyond for limited-capacity concerts throughout the season.
In observance of state guidelines for large gatherings, all guests and staff at Westville Music Bowl will undergo a health screening including a temperature check and short questionnaire prior to entering the venue. Staff are required to wear masks at all times, while security will be on site to enforce social distancing etiquette in the stands, which are spaced out in “pods.”
Other shows at Westville Music Bowl this spring include Umphrey’s McGee (5/7, 5/8), Greensky Bluegrass (5/21, 5/22), Dinosaur Jr. (5/23), Lake Street Dive (6/10 with Kalbells, 6/11 with Mikaela Davis), and Pigeons Playing Ping Pong (6/26), in addition to sold-out stops by Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Goose, The Disco Biscuits, and Twiddle.
Westville Music Bowl has endured a long path to its grand opening, but its obstacles have placed this milestone right at the nexus of “right place” and “right time.” Originally slated to open in 2020, the venue stalled its launch as the pandemic threw the immediate future of live music into question. Promoters Manic Presents and Lovely Day Presents instead focused their efforts on the successful, socially distant Twilight Concerts on the Farm series at Morris, CT’s South Farms late last year. As the calendar flipped to 2021, the Westville Music Bowl team used what they learned in the COVID-compliant concert space to cater the launch of the new stadium venue to a live music world just starting to get back on its feet.
While there has been virtually no large-scale live music in the region for nearly a year and a half, the centrally-located Connecticut city—a hub for multiple interstate highways as well as various forms of public transportation—is easily accessible even for fans in concert-starved surrounding markets like New York and Boston. With many of the biggest names in the scene routing through Westville Music Bowl, New Haven is rapidly becoming the new haven for music fans in the Northeast this spring and summer.
The influx of out-of-town fans only promises to add to what is already a vibrant music scene in New Haven and Connecticut at large. For years, regional heads have been attending shows at likeminded CT venues like The Acoustic, Toad’s Place, and College Street Music Hall, and former festival Gathering Of The Vibes served as a music scene epicenter for many years in nearby Bridgeport.
As we continue to make strides toward putting the pandemic behind us, Westville Music Bowl’s stadium facility will allow it to easily scale up to full capacity for future events, priming it to become a summer hotspot for years to come.
More info regarding the venue and shows can be found here. Tickets to all shows at Westville Music Bowl this season can be purchased here. For more updates and announcements from Westville Music Bowl, follow the venue on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).