Alan Jackson pivots with drive-in concerts

Skyvue Drive In, Dothan, AL

Talk to anyone who makes a living doing music and a key word emerges—pivot. That’s what virtually every self-employed person in the music sector has had to do after Coronavirus shutdowns. That pivot didn’t just occur in the indie music sector. It’s also occurring in the superstar sector, and country music’s Alan Jackson is pivoting in a big kind of way.

Necessity is the mother of invention, as the old saying goes, and Jackson found the same challenge any performer of live music encountered. How do you do a concert and maintain social distancing? Even as shoulder-to-shoulder protesters fill US streets, the entire business sector is still bound by rules put in place as the virus spread across the globe.

That aside, Jackson lit on a solution—a drive-in concert. Evoking the drive-in movie theaters of yesteryear, Jackson’s ‘Small Town Drive-In Concerts’ comes to Cullman, Alabama on Friday, June 12. This was the pivot after the pivot—stormy weather caused that concert to be rescheduled from an earlier date.

Wide Open Country explains how the drive-in concert works:

“Per a press release, the concerts “will reach an audience of approximately 2,000 parked vehicles. Both events will be staged in accordance with and while promoting CDC and Alabama state health guidelines regarding social distancing and other practices. Concertgoers will be required to stay with their vehicles…and concessions will be provided only via phone orders with delivery to vehicles.”

Jackson’s website provides a FAQ list about the concerts, including answers about whether you can sit outside your car (you can) and other matters.

I like the idea of a drive-in concert, and I think this concept is one of many to come as musicians seek ways to keep the music going.

How long will the pivot last?

Skyvue Drive In, Dothan, AL
Drive-In Theater photo from Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by John Margolies, [reproduction number LC-MA05- 6095].
No one knows, but it’s hard to figure out why politicians aggressively encourage protests while prohibiting other legal gatherings in places like bars, salons, churches, and mosques. No medical advice, as far as I know, has been repeatedly delivered to protesters about the significance of density when it comes to the Coronavirus. It makes no sense to me, but I’m not a politician.

Still, as I said earlier, I do like the idea of a drive-in concert. I like that concept better even when politicos aren’t shutting down the economy.

(Kay B. Day/June 9, 2020)

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