The following summation is a condensed version of the narrative recounted by Mrs. Ruth Hayes and may not necessarily reflect the factual historical record of either the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand or the City of Rehoboth Beach.
The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand was first conceptualized by the late Mr. William Hayes in 1963. He was a wonderful man who could “play all instruments,” said his late wife, Mrs. Ruth Hayes.
Mr. Hayes’s passion for music and community drove him to persuade the City of Rehoboth Beach to establish a music venue in the town. At first, he was given permission to invite local bands to perform on the grassy area where the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand now stands. This area was referred to as “performing on the green” since there was no physical structure present at the time.
In subsequent years, the City of Rehoboth Beach granted Mr. William Hayes the chance to create a new bandstand. As Mrs. Hayes recalled, “Bill designed a beautiful bandstand!” The City of Rehoboth Beach then constructed the well-known bandstand structure that stood for more than 40 years.
After the construction of the new bandstand, Mr. Hayes continued to manage and schedule events at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand until his passing in 1994.
After her husband’s passing, Mrs. Ruth Hayes took over the scheduling duties for the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand. She carried on the legacy that her husband began by organizing and scheduling performances every summer. Her love for the performers helped her to keep her husband’s memory alive.
Mrs. Ruth Hayes was a beloved figure in Rehoboth Beach who attracted audiences year after year with her enthusiasm for music, performers, and animals. She was renowned for her passion and dedication to the arts, and until her passing, she attended every event, introducing each performer with her trademark greeting: “Good evening, I’m Ruth Hayes. On behalf of the City of Rehoboth Beach, welcome, and thank you for coming.”
We express our gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes for their lasting contributions to the City of Rehoboth Beach, the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, and the numerous performers from across the country who have performed on our stage. Their impact will continue to motivate musicians and music enthusiasts alike.
After Mrs. Hayes’ passing, the responsibilities of managing the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand were transferred to Corey Groll, a seasoned sound technician who had worked at the venue since 1991. Initially, he interned as a sound engineer, which eventually led to a summer job operating the sound system under Mrs. Hayes’ guidance. Corey became the program director for the bandstand during a critical time when the bandstand was undergoing reconstruction. In his first season, he followed the schedule that Mrs. Hayes had left behind. Since then, Corey has worked diligently to maintain the structure of the bandstand and offer a diverse range of musical genres to people of all ages.
The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand takes pride in offering performers a platform to showcase their talents, while also providing visitors of Rehoboth Beach with FREE entertainment each summer. We are grateful to our patrons, visitors, and performers for their continued support of our programs.