Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s become increasingly difficult to find any sort of in-person live music. Some bands and venues have turned to livestreaming concerts online, but local concert venue and skate park The Bay has come up with a different solution: a drive-in concert followed by a merch sale for over a dozen local artists the next day.
The drive-in show, which will take place in The Bay’s parking lot, is scheduled for this Saturday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. The show will feature three local rock ‘n’ roll acts: Garst, No Thanks and Death By Brutus, which will use a loading dock as a stage to overlook the audience of cars.
Tickets for the show are available online for $5 and must be purchased prior to arrival. Attendees will need to stay in their cars and roll down their windows to hear the music. The event’s description online states that The Bay’s facilities will be closed during the concert and attendees will have to save their moshing for another time.
Caden Pearson, communities manager for The Bay, said the idea for a drive-in show emerged as the venue considered how to bring live music back.
“It’s the first public live event we’ve had at The Bay since COVID hit,” Pearson said. “We’ve just been trying to figure out what we can do to keep everybody safe and keep our finger on the pulse of the local music scene. We wanna make sure that we’re doing all we can to help keep that community connected and provide a space for people to be able to perform and interact.”
Pearson also added that The Bay is open to pivoting and taking different approaches to live shows moving forward. He said they would be interested in livestreaming performances, teaming up with local radio stations to broadcast shows or doing whatever else they can in order to keep people safe and keep live music happening.
The four members of Garst all expressed immense excitement about their upcoming performance.
“There’s not a lot of circumstances that we could play a show right now with the whole COVID thing going on,” guitarist Casey Plucinski said. “But you know — driving in and being socially distanced — I think this is a pretty good move.”
Guitarist Roman Constantino said the band is just trying to roll with the punches and take whatever shows they think are safe to take, even if that means Facetiming the crowd for future performances.
The band members believe this drive-in show will be one of the most interesting shows they’ve ever played, since the usual crowd of people is being swapped out for rows of cars.
“I feel we’ll have to bring the energy as a band and not rely on the crowd for energy, because there’s just cars,” drummer Cannon Dunwoody said. “I’m kind of hoping that after songs people will honk their horns instead of clapping. But an ideal crowd would be a demolition derby as a mosh pit; that would be amazing.”
Bassist Joe Murphy-Chavez said that band practice has been a little strange since they’ve never practiced to play for cars before.
“It’s like a drive-in movie but better and with bands pretty much,” Chavez said. “We set up cardboard cars in our practice space to try and get into that mindset. We were all joking about watching ‘Cars 2’ to get ready for the show.”
After the drive-in show on Saturday, The Bay will also be hosting a band merchandise yard sale in its parking lot from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25. Pearson described the event as a farmer’s market but for band merch. Local bands and artists such as HAKIM, Dem Kidz, Twinsmith, The Credentials and over a dozen more will be selling their merchandise at the parking lot yard sale.
There is a required donation in order to attend the event. All proceeds will benefit local venues in Lincoln.
“So many bands have had merch that they haven’t been able to sell since shows aren’t happening,” Pearson said. “So, it’s something where they can come and set up a booth or a table or even just sell it out of the trunk of their car. People can come shop for band merch and support all of these local artists.”
According to Pearson, The Bay is testing the waters of public interest with the drive-in show. It will likely be the first in a series of shows if all goes well.
“It might be a huge success, or it might not be the best timing with the pandemic, but we’ve just got to start somewhere, you know?” Pearson said.