Nothing can stop New Jersey! Flood? Rebuild. Venues are closed due to a worldwide pandemic? Take the shows outside!
Announced on Monday, Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey will host a new drive-in concert series with local favorites Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes set to play on July 11.
Drive-in concerts are becoming an ever-possible option as artists, live music venues, and fans struggle to keep themselves quarantined in their homes now four months into the pandemic. Country star Chase Rice recently told RADIO.COM that he’s willing to get back in front of friendly faces as soon as legally possible, and it seems Southside Johnny feels the same pain.
“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,” said 'Southside' Johnny Lyon in a statement. “Why sit at home when ‘We’re Havin’ A Party,’ drive-in style?”
As you can see in the clip below, 'Southside' Johnny has some famous friends. Perhaps the most famous New Jerseyan of them all, "The Boss," has been known to take the stage with him. SInce Bruce Springsteen has been performing for fans remotely during the stay-at-home mandate, most recently with Boston's Dropkick Murphys, one can only hope that he'll show up too on July 11. The racetrack is only eight miles from Springsteen’s home base of Asbury Park.
The "Southside" Johnny show is set to be the state’s first non-virtual concert amid the COVID-19 health crisis, which has canceled or postponed most tours into 2021.
The plan for New Jersey is going to be quite an undertaking: Cars will be staggered about the racetrack parking area with spaces to accommodate up to 1,000 vehicles. A maximum occupancy of four passengers per car will be enforced, with each spaced nine feet apart to ensure proper social distancing. Attendees will be able to hear the concert via a still-to-be-announced FM radio signal on their car stereos.
Need to use the restroom? You’ll be given limited hall passes and will have to follow proper social distancing rules, while wearing a mask. Restrooms will be sanitized after every use. Concessions? They’re working on it, but don’t expect to be able to have alcohol (you’re in a car, remember?) and don’t bring your pets. They don’t understand basic musical theory anyway.
Mobile tickets for the rain or shine event are priced between $150 and $250 and will be available for purchase starting June 5 at 10AM ET via Ticketmaster. Proceeds will benefit the Count Basie Center for the Arts and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund.
More information on the drive-in concert can be found online at thebasie.org/drivein.