Ben Folds needs no introduction. The singer-songwriter, pianist and former front man of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five is one of today’s most important influencers of popular music. He’s also a record producer, photographer, a judge on NBC’s The Sing-Off from 2009 to 2013, and artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and, he's coming to Grand Rapids Friday night.

Folds returns to the Grand Rapids Symphony’s stage to close out the 2018 D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops this Friday, August 3, at Cannonsburg Ski Area, with Guest Conductor Jacomo Bairos.

Ben Folds began his musical career as a quirky, smart-alecky singer-songwriter whose hit single, Brick, led to an appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1998.

Today, the whiz-kid piano player who formerly led the Ben Fold Five is artistic adviser to the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Gates at Cannonsburg Ski Area open at 5:45 p.m. for picnicking and pre-concert entertainment, including free, kid-friendly activities such as face painting, crafts, and a musical instrument petting zoo.

Terry Johnston

Pack your own picnic baskets and coolers or purchase food from the grill at the Cannonsburg concession stand. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the grounds, and parking is free for concertgoers.

Lawn tickets to Ben Folds are $40 for adults or $5 for ages 2-18. Children younger than age 2 are admitted for free. MySymphony360 members can attend for $25. Active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Military may buy up to two tickets for $25 each.

Other individual tickets are $50 for reserved chairs, $60 for individual table seats, and $480 for a full table of eight.

Call the GRS box office at (616) 454-9451 ext. 4 weekdays or (616) 885-1241 evenings; or in person at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100; or online at GRSymphony.org.

Tickets are also available at the gate at the night of the concert for an additional $5. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people by calling (616) 454-9451 ext. 192.

Tickets also may be purchased through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787, or at Ticketmaster outlets at select D&W Fresh Markets, Family Fare Stores and Walmart. Tickets purchased at these locations will include a Ticketmaster service fee.