Orange County approves $500K funding to keep Dr. Phillips Frontyard Festival going

Venue will stay open until mid-December

A couple holds hands at the Dr. Phillips Center Frontyard Festival event in Orlando ahead of the Pulse 5-year Remembrance ceremony on June 12, 2021. (Nadeen Yanes, WKMG 2021)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Frontyard Festival, which started during the pandemic, was slated to end this month but will continue until mid-December after the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved funding to keep the event outside the Dr. Phillips Center going.

The 2,000-seat outdoor venue on the lawn of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts opened last year amid the coronavirus pandemic when concerts and performances everywhere were at a halt. The special setup was going to close in mid-June but the Orlando city council recently approved $500,000 in funding to keep the Frontyard Festival open and on Tuesday the county board of commissioners agreed to support the extension. AdventHealth also provides financial support for the venue.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve found creative ways to be together safely and support some of our most impacted community groups, like our local artists, thanks to the Frontyard Festival,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “In our darkest times, this new venue was a beacon of light showing that our community was resilient in the face of unprecedented challenges and I’m happy to see its operation continue in our downtown as we continue to recover.”

The festival will now expand to accommodate 4,500 guests and remain open until mid-December with shows already planned for the rest of the year. The expansion adds a fifth and sixth seat option for each individual box.

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“We did exactly what we set out to do: stay relevant, keep the community engaged in the arts and keep people employed,” Dr. Phillips Center President and CEO Kathy Ramsberger said. “And now, we have the privilege of evolving the festival because of its early and intensifying success. I’m so proud of our colleagues for making this happen.”

Under the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, masks are encouraged for unvaccinated guests but no longer required at the venue.

In the coming months, the Frontyard Festival will also host the outdoor arts experience Immerse, Central Florida’s Bach Festival Orchestra and Choir, FusionFest and the Songs of the Season holiday concert with Rollins College and Full Sail University.