Drive-in concert to bring summer vibes from a distance

A drive-in parking lot concert featuring country singer-songwriter Wyatt McCubbin will help to fill a gap in local live music this summer in a new and safe way.

“I felt in my core that if we ever needed a human connection, it's right now during this crisis,” says Adele Adkins, executive director of the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

The COVID Country Concert will be held at 7 p.m. June 13 in the parking lot of the Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center at Clark State Community College's main campus, 570 E. Leffel Lane. Tickets are $25 per vehicle and must be purchased in advance at ticketmaster.com.

The lot will have room for about 250 vehicles, and Adkins expects the show to sell out. The lot will open at 6 p.m., and there will be no assigned parking spaces. Only cars, SUVs, minivans and trucks are permitted.

A drive-in concert of this sort may have been the first to have been announced nationally, and the industry will be paying attention to this as a model, Adkins says. She expects additional local drive-in concerts to be announced as well.

McCubbin, 23, is a singer-songwriter from Selma (near South Charleston) and a regular in Nashville. The concert also will include additional Nashville musicians.

Unlike many drive-in movie theaters, music won't be transmitted through car stereos, but instead speakers will be located throughout the parking lot.

“The vibration is so much of what we experience when we go to something live,” Adkins says.

Concessions won't be available, but concert-goers can bring their own. Portable toilets will be available, and guests are asked to wear masks and stand at least 6 feet apart while in line. Guests must stay in their vehicles during the concert.

Although the concert experience won't be typical, attendees will be able to connect with others in their vehicle as they together share a live performance, Adkins says. And judging by the emails, calls and texts she has received, she says people are excited.

“Clearly, people are craving an activity like this,” she says.

Adkins stresses that drive-in concerts wouldn't take the place of Springfield's Summer Arts Festival, which was canceled this year due to restrictions and recommendations relating to COVID-19.

“This is to fill a void that is in our community this summer,” she says.

Read more articles by Diane Erwin.

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