Alan Jackson is the latest artist to tackle the drive-in concert amid the coronavirus pandemic, planning a pair of performances in Alabama next month. Jackson's "Small Town Drive-In" concerts will take place on June 5 in Cullman, Alabama on the open-field site of the Rock the South festival and June 6 in Fairhope, Alabama on the grounds of Oak Hollow Farm. The shows will be a full-length performance event and are billed as a "drive-in meets concert" experience. The Cory Farley Band will open both shows.
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During the performances, Jackson will play to an audience of approximately 2,000 parked vehicles and the events will be staged in accordance with and while promoting CDC and Alabama state health guidelines regarding social distancing and other practices. Attendees will be required to stay with their vehicles and concessions will be provided only via phone orders with delivery to vehicles. A fan club pre-sale began on Tuesday and tickets went on sale to the public on Wednesday morning. General admission price per vehicle (up to two passengers) is $99.99 while additional passenger tickets may be purchased for $39.99. A limited amount of VIP parking, closest to the stage, starts at $199.99. A portion of all proceeds from each concert will go toward food relief efforts in the respective regions.
Jackson is not the first artist to test out drive-in concerts amid the coronavirus pandemic, though his entrance into the field begs the question of whether this will be the new normal for shows, at least for the time being. Keith Urban recently performed a drive-in concert in Tennessee for health care workers and told Variety that "The only real challenge for me was [the absence of] the energy from a mosh pit. But the car horns, the flashing headlights — that was crazy cool."
"I have no idea when I last went to a drive-in, but it’s the perfect setting for this: everyone in cars orderly positioned, all facing a singular point, and a massive pre-built video projection wall," he continued. "All we had to do was park a flatbed truck at the base of the screen, point a camera at the stage, tap into the FM frequency so everyone could hear us in their cars, and we were off and running."