As the live event industry remains halted amid the coronavirus pandemic, venues and promoters are looking at ways to still keep the spirit of concerts alive through drive-in movie theater shows. Now, New Jersey is hopping on the bandwagon for its first drive-in show this summer.
A new drive-in series was announced this week, which is set to take place at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey. The Jersey Shore will kick-off the “Drive-In Live” series with performances from local groups Southside Johnny Lyon and Asbury Jukes on July 11.
“The Asbury Jukes and I are so excited that we can play this first of its kind live concert and help get New Jersey started on a quick and healthy return to normal,” Lyons said in a statement. “Whit sit at home when ‘We’re Havin’ A Party,’ drive-in style? We’ll safely see everyone July 11th.”
Usually, Lyons appears at the Stone Pony Summer Stage for his annual Fourth of July Weekend appearance, however, all of the Summer Stage shows have been pushed to 2021. Lyons is also typically joined by some special guests. Last year, Bruce Springsteen graced the stage alongside Lyons, and recently, The Boss appeared with the Dropkick Murphys for a virtual remoe performance. Fans are wondering if Springsteen will perform alongside Lyons again this year for this special drive-in gig.
Only 1,000 cars will be able to score a spot in the parking lot for the drive-in show with the maximum occupancy of four passengers per vehicle. Cars will be spaced nine feet apart in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, with cars parked in a “staggered fashion” for best visibility. Fans will be able to tune in via FM radio and can only leave their vehicles to go to the restroom.
“I commend the Count Basie Center for the Arts for finding a way to bring live entertainment to Monmouth County in a fun and safe way,” Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said in a statement. “This drive-in show is a great way to get out of the house and experience a live show, while still practicing social distancing.”
The rain-or-shine event, presented by The Basie Presents and World Subaru, will go on sale this Friday, June 5 at 10 a.m. EST via Ticketmaster. The general admission sale will be “touchless” and mobile, priced at $150 or $200 per vehicle. A portion of the funds will go toward the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. For tickets, visit thebasie.org/drivein or Monmouthpark.com.
This will be the first non-virtual concert in the state, providing some sort of hope for music fans looking for the slow return of concerts this summer.