Johnny A and Signature Gibson guitar.
It’s hard to determine who may have launched the first drive-in concert during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the largest debut of the car-concert concept may have featured the band Mirai in Ostrava, Czech Republic on May 15. Suddenly, there was hope for artists struggling to get back in front of teeming audiences during the health crisis, and some media outlets touted stay-in-your-car experiences as a possible new model for the touring industry.
Never one to hang back in any situation, our good friend and fellow Guardian of Guitar Johnny A is jumping into the fray with a socially distanced drive-in concert at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry, New Hampshire, on June 14.
It’s great news for guitar fans, as Johnny’s brilliant solo-guitar, live-looping extravaganza — Just Me… And My Guitars: A Celebration of the British Songbook of the ’60s — was postponed somewhat indefinitely due to the zombie apocalypse that hit everyone everywhere, and forced a lot a “new normals” across the planet.
Of course, Johnny isn’t simply sheltering at home twiddling his talented fingers during the lockdown. In addition to the June 14 concert, he has been livestreaming on Facebook from his home every weekday at 10 am EST—playing requests, performing songs that drop into his head that day, sharing career stories, talking about gear, and/or answering questions from fans.
Likewise, the 700-seat Tupelo Music Hall did not wait for any jump-starting of the ways of the past — if that could even happen in a post-pandemic world.
Instead, the venue invested in its Tupelo Music Drive-In Experience with an outdoor stage, a sound system, a revamped parking lot, and a very fine — and safe — plan for audience members. A ticket secures two parking spots for concert goers—one for your vehicle and another spot if you want to enjoy the music from a chair or through a private, tailgate-style mini party. If you’d rather remain super-safe within the confides of your car, local radio 95.1 FM broadcasts the music live.
Tupelo Music Drive-In Experience
Even if you’re someone who wishes to remain super-duper safe at home, you don’t have to miss the fun. The concerts are livestreamed at www.tupelomusichall.com for a small fee, and the home audience can also choose to leave tips online for the artist or the venue. A portion of the proceeds from the livestream benefit Lend A Helping Hand — an organization that helps feed families in New Hampshire who are struggling amidst the pandemic.
JOHNNY A CONCERT DETAILS FOR JUNE 14
If you live in the Derry area, Johnny will perform on the Tupelo Music Drive-In Experience Stage with two 75- to 90-minute sets—the first at 12 noon EST, and the second at 3 pm EST. Tickets are $75 per car and can be purchased HERE.
In addition, concert sponsor Gibson Guitars is raffling off two amazing instruments — an Epiphone Johnny A. Signature Model and a Gibson USA 50s Tribute Les Paul.
Don’t forget that if you’re in, say, the San Francisco Bay Area like me, or living in Paris France or Paris Texas, you can still experience Johnny’s sensational concert via www.tupelomusichall.com on June 14.
SEE JOHNNY A PERFORM ONE OF MY FAVE BADFINGER SONGS
SEE JOHNNY A DISCUSS THE PANDEMIC ON THE KINGDOM OF ROCK PODCAST