It was announced this week that Dayton-area resident and world-famous comic and actor Dave Chappelle will host a free event to benefit tragedy victims and affected local businesses Sunday, Aug. 25, in Dayton’s historic Oregon District. Gem City Shine Benefit Concert and Community Event will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., featuring performances throughout the late afternoon and evening on a main stage located near Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue.
Dave Chappelle lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio and has been generous to the Miami Valley during his time there, both by entertaining the locals and through philanthropy. Earlier this year, Chappelle put on a fundraiser stand-up performance at Dayton’s Schuster Center to benefit a local public radio station. He even recruited a few of his renown comedic and musical friends to give him a hand, but all of the proceeds went to WYSO.
So far, the producers of Gem City Shine have only revealed that there will be “local and national entertainment.” However, rumors are swirling throughout the region that—in a form Daytonians have come to expect from Dave—the block party and concert will feature a celebrity lineup resembling something like a Coachella billing.
One of the biggest names being floated as an attendee at the weekend benefit is Lady Gaga. Being that Gaga vowed to support funding for school projects in Dayton classrooms in the wake of the shooting—and given her ties to Chappelle through their co-starring in A Star Is Born—it’s understandable why folks in the Miami Valley would guess she’ll be there.
Also being attached in an unverifiable way to the party is Gaga’s and Chappelle’s other famous co-star (and director) from their Oscar winning film (best original song). It’s definitely not a stretch to think Bradley Cooper—who dropped in and hung out at a Dave’s Juke Joint party in Yellow Springs, in 2018—would be a part of a star-studded listing this weekend. Using the same line of speculation, locals wouldn’t be crazy to anticipate Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Aziz Ansari, Michelle Wolf, Michael Che, Gayle King, Jill Scott, Mos Def or Talib Kweli, who have all been part of one or another Dayton Area Chappelle-hosted events.
Speaking of crazy, what this blog can report exclusively is that a knowledgeable source has presented there is evidence that Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West both plan to be in Dayton, Ohio this weekend. It still makes sense—even in light of Dave’s recent criticism of Yeezy—because just in June (at the WYSO fundraiser), he publicly declared that West is like a brother to him.
Some of the most loosely evidenced speculation surrounding Sunday’s memorial has placed musician John Mayer on the Oregon District stage at some point, but the power of Dave Chappelle’s reach in celebdom makes this another real possibility—especially given that John and Dave are friends. Another John, who may be just as likely to end up on the #GemCityShine Instagram wall, was just in Dayton for an intimate impromptu concert, performing at Blind Bob’s. Before becoming a Grammy winning singer and songwriter, John Legend grew up in neighboring city Springfield.
According to the event’s Facebook page, there will be several ways for attendees to contribute to both The Dayton Foundation’s Oregon District Tragedy Fund and Oregon District Business Association, which is assisting local businesses with recovery. Tickets are pretty much unattainable at this point—that is, unless you can find a Dayton Area resident who has an extra. Reports have stated that the city is expecting around 20,000 people to show up Sunday. No firearms will be permitted.
For further coverage of Gem City Shine, Brew Studs is sending a contributor to the Oregon District to post up at or near Dayton’s first craft brewery Toxic Brew Co. The iconic neighborhood brewpub is located just yards away from Ned Peppers, where nine people tragically lost their lives in the mass shooting earlier this month. The Oregon District is also where Brew Studs Productions filmed the very first scene of the beer series Turning Craft, so this memorial event means a lot to our staff and contributors.