Dave Chappelle’s hometown comedy and music series, which resulted in at least one YouTube Netflix half-hour special (8:46) in June, and attracted all sorts of A-listers to Yellow Springs, Ohio, over the summer, was forced to shut down operations last week due to “possible exposure within our inner circle” of COVID-19.
Dubbed #ChappelleSummerCamp but listed on Ticketmaster as ‘Dave Chappelle & Friends — An Intimate Socially Distanced Affair,’ the shows at the outdoor Wirrig Pavilion had received state and local permission to proceed from August through Oct. 4 thanks to extensive safety precautions.
Nevertheless, the last half-dozen shows were cancelled Sept. 25. The Dayton Daily News broke the news that day, noting the cancellations on Ticketmaster and citing a post written by Dave’s wife, Elaine Chappelle, to a closed Facebook group, in which she notified followers: “We take COVID-19 very seriously and there have been no reported cases among patrons or crew. However, due to a possible exposure within our inner circle, and out of an abundance of caution, we have elected to cancel the remaining six shows.”
On Monday, The New York Post‘s Page Six gossip column went further, publishing that one of Chappelle’s guest performers was suspected to have contracted the coronavirus that’s killed more than 200,000 Americans in 2020: “We’ve been told the individual’s name but won’t be publishing it. It’s not one of the comics listed above.” The comedians the Post had ruled out were Chris Rock, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Tiffany Haddish, Michael Che, Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, and Michelle Wolf.
Chappelle delivered his Emmy Awards acceptance speech the previous weekend from the pavilion in Ohio. That same weekend, he had entertained the likes of Wolf, Haddish, Ali Wong, Jo Koy, Common, Talib Kweli, Mo Amer, Donnell Rawlings, and DJ Trauma.