Naval District Washington Public Affairs
Popular music and comedy acts will soon hit installations across Naval District Washington (NDW) thanks to a new program being launched by Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).
After bringing classic rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd to Maryland in 2012 as part of the Defenders of Freedom Day at Six Flags America, NDW MWR has transitioned such events into a new concert brand called Freedom Live.
“Freedom Live is all about value, quality and entertainment,” said Lee Bell, regional program manager for NDW MWR. “Freedom Live is being established as a new entertainment brand here at NDW. The brand will provide customers with predominately concerts and comedy shows that are based on the desires of our loyal MWR fan base.”
Freedom Live’s inaugural year kicks off Aug. 16 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, when 3 Doors Down and Blues Traveler will take stage on the flightline. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Although the concerts are on Navy installations and sponsored by NDW MWR, the shows will be open to service members from all branches, as well as DOD contractors and employees.
VIP tickets bought by followers of the NAS Patuxent River MWR Facebook page sold out within four days, said David Cardinale, NAS Pax River MWR Marketing director. General admission tickets are on sale now. Cardinale suggests individuals interested in attending buy their tickets early because the prices rise as the concert date approaches.
“We’re very excited with the response and all the support this concert has received so far. With over 1,000 tickets sold in the first week, the potential for growth is amazing,” Cardinale said. “I think it’s safe to say our patrons should look forward to seeing this type of event with talent of this caliber more often at NAS Pax River.”
Freedom Live customers will have the option to purchase VIP tickets to concerts around the Region, which will include perks such as meet and greets with bands, special food and beverage choices, better parking spots and private restrooms. Regular ticket holders can still expect good seats at a discounted price, Bell said, along with free parking, affordable concessions, and a convenient and secure venue on their local installation.
For future shows, Freedom Live organizers plan to use customer preference surveys and social media outlets to determine what shows customers want to see, and then work to bring those acts to stages across NDW.
A second event is already booked for Sept. 20 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling. Although the headliners have not yet been publicly named, Bell said the performers, as well as the emerging talent in the opening act, should create excitement for country music fans in the area.
“Freedom Live will provide A-List entertainers that our very best customers want and deserve to see close to where they work and live,” said Bell. “These individual components will remain an integral part of the Freedom Live brand going forward and should help expand its lifespan for the benefit of MWR customers.”
For tickets and event information, visit www.freedom livendw.com.
Connie Hempel, Naval Air Station Patuxent River Public Affairs, contributed to this article.