West Michigan’s second drive-in concert sparked by the social-distancing protocol of the coronavirus pandemic will take place Saturday at the museum in Hickory Corners, south of Grand Rapids.
With the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic shutting down traditional live music performances due to social-distancing, drive-in concerts have become a hot trend in Europe and the United States.
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And what’s more apropos than a drive-in concert at a car museum?
The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, 18 miles northeast of Kalamazoo and about 50 miles southeast of Grand Rapids, will host The English Rain – a Beatles tribute band – for a special drive-in concert at 6:30 p.m. Saturday (July 11). Admission is $28 per carload, available here.
With a parking area that can hold up to 650 vehicles, the outdoor concert is a fundraiser for the museum’s free community programming, including its Garage Works program, school education group tours and Ride the Classics.
“It is a safe way for people to come out and enjoy an evening under the stars on our historic campus,” said Ken Fischang, the museum’s director of commercial operations.
The English Rain is a Nashville-based band of “professional multi-instrumentalists” who perform a bevy of The Beatles’ hits and most popular songs. Attendees at the drive-in concert can tune their radio dials to 103.1 FM to listen to the performance safely inside their cars or bring chairs to sit in front of their vehicles.
Fischang noted the second weekend in July is usually reserved for the museum’s British and German car shows. And because “British bands are more popular than German bands,” the museum decided a Beatles tribute would be ideal.
WEST MICHIGAN’S SECOND DRIVE-IN SHOW A ‘COMMUNITY COMEBACK’ CONCERT
Saturday’s outdoor show is actually West Michigan’s second drive-in concert since the coronavirus turned the world upside-down.
On June 27, Grand Haven concert promoter Dave Palmer organized a drive-in show starring Five Strand Fusion and the Bri Baron Band in the parking lot of Grand Haven’s Rycenga Building Center. That concert attracted more than 50 vehicles on a sunny afternoon and was well-received by attendees and performers.
For Saturday’s Gilmore Car Museum show, the museum’s diner and grill will be open, as well as three full bars and a mobile store. “It will be a great evening,” Fischang said.
According to the museum, the band will play live on stage with cars parked “in staggered fashion to account for sight lines.”
Due to capacity restrictions, tickets are available only in advance online at gilmorecarmuseum.org. Tickets won’t be sold at the gate.
Restrooms are available, but face masks will be required to be worn inside any buildings as well as recommended outside.
Although the “community comeback” concert will take place rain or shine, organizers noted that lightning and thunder would force cancellation of the performance for safety reasons.
Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and parking is first-come, first-served. Get more details and rules online at gilmorecarmuseum.org. The museum is located at 6865 Hickory Road in Hickory Corners, about 51 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.
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