Willie Nelson and Family at the Shell, in Wilmington (Sept. 5, 2017)

Who: Willie Nelson
When: 6 p.m. gates, Sept. 5
Where: The Shell, 14 Harnett St., Wilmington
Details: TheShellWilmington.com

“Whiskey River” is coming to the Cape Fear River.

Country music legend Willie Nelson will return to the Port City Sept. 5 to play Wilmington’s newest music venue, an open-air facility called The Shell located at 14 Harnett St. off the northern Riverwalk near the Port City Marina. The announcement was made Tuesday by Full House Productions, USA InvestCo and WhirlWind Creative.

Nelson, whose most recent Wilmington gig was in 2016 at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, is known for such unforgettable hits as “On the Road Again,” “Always on My Mind” and “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys.”

The announcement also marks the advent of a major new venue and event facility in downtown Wilmington, one with a capacity of 4,000 people. Along with Nelson, The Shell also announced concerts by hip-hop star Nelly on Sept. 3 and country singer Aaron Lewis, also frontman of the rock band Staind, on Aug. 9.

Nelly played the N.C. Azalea Festival in Wilmington in 2015 and Lewis has performed at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater.

“We look forward to bringing a venue like this to the city,” said Chuck Schoninger, CEO of USA InvestCo., in a statement.

Tickets are available now for Nelly (starting at $35) and Lewis (starting at $20) at TheShellWilmington.com. Willie Nelson tickets, which start at $70, go on sale July 14.


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