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Surprise: Dave Chappelle doing 3 shows in Austin next week

Eric Webb
ewebb@statesman.com
In this Jan. 28, 2018, file photo, Dave Chappelle poses in the press room with the best comedy album award for "The Age of Spin" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas" at the 60th annual Grammy Awards in New York.

Straight from hosting “Saturday Night Live” last weekend, comedian Dave Chappelle is coming to Austin for a three-night stand next week, marking perhaps the highest-profile live entertainment to hit town since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

According to an announcement Friday afternoon from event promoter C3 Presents, Chappelle will perform Nov. 16-18 at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater. All shows start at 8 p.m., and guests must be 18 or older.

The announcement touts the shows as “socially distanced” with reserved tables at the outdoor venue. Table seating ranges from four to eight people, and only one party will be seated per table. Also part of the event safety plan: all ticket holders will get a rapid COVID-19 test upon arrival, and masks will be required in the venue.

The surprise shows from Chappelle are an outlier in a quiet year for in-person Austin events. The pandemic has kept the city’s once-bustling entertainment venues quiet almost all year, with many leaders in the live event industry warning of a potential wave of permanent closures without more government relief. Some outdoor events like drive-in concerts have filled the gap, and limited capacity indoor entertainment has returned to a few spots. Cases of COVID-19 and related hospitalizations have been on the rise in Texas in recent weeks, and local health authorities have warned of a dark winter ahead.

Tickets ($200 per table plus fees) are on sale now at stubbsaustin.com and c3concerts.com, but some ticket tiers had already sold out minutes after the shows were announced.