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A&E Notes: Big Top draws big crowd

Willie Nelson played at Big Top Chautauqua this past weekend, helping to draw the largest weekend total in attendance of the season. (Photo courtesy of Big Top Chautauqua)

Big Top Chautauqua found a winning formula for drawing fans: a Celtic act, an original production, and heavies in the country western and reggae scene.

The outdoor tent-style venue near Bayfield drew nearly 4,000 fans this past weekend, the biggest attendance of the 2014 season so far, according to a news release from Big Top’s marketing department.

The acts included Gaelic Storm, which performs Celtic music; a production of “Shanties & Shipwrecks,” performed by the house band Blue Canvas Orchestra; Ziggy Marley, who sang “Tomorrow People”; and Willie Nelson, the red bandana wearing longtime singer-songwriter.

Big Top seats 950, but allows overflow to spill out around the tent.