The Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, currently closed because of the pandemic, will try something new with a drive-in concert featuring John Ginty and Friends at Fosterfields Farm in Morris Township, June 25 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale June 3 at noon; visit MayoArts.org. (No tickets will be sold at the gate.)
Tickets are $100 per car, and proceeds will benefit MPAC’s recovery. The rain date is June 26.
The site will be able to accommodate about 150 cars, which will be spaced out in accordance with current social distancing guidelines. Attendees must remain in their cars; tailgating will not be allowed.
This is the second announcement, today, of a major drive-in concert in New Jersey. Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes will perform at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, July 11.
Ginty, who lives in Morristown, is well known to New Jersey music fans via his own bands, his many projects with other Jersey artists, and his work as an organ player for major national acts including The Dixie Chicks and The Allman Betts Band. He was also a founding member of Robert Randolph & the Family Band.
While only one drive-in concert is currently planned at Fosterfields Farm, “we would love to host a series of drive-in events throughout the summer months,” said MPAC president and CEO Allison Larena. “It’s a great way to engage with our audience and bring live concerts to our audience. If the June 25 event is a success, we will welcome the opportunity to present more of them.”
Movies, of course, would also be a natural thing to present in a drive-in format. “I think the possibilities are endless,” said Larena. “I think our MPAC team is very creative, they’re very flexible, they’re very innovative. You’ve seen the wonderful programs they have online, virtually, that we’ve been offering to our patrons and supporters and community. So, again, we wanted to start out with one concert, and if it’s well received, we’ll move beyond that, if it’s possible.”
Rules for the concert are listed on its online event page, though some could change before showtime. “Many restrictions, by June 25, could be lifted,” Larena said. “We’re certainly hoping that people can sit outside of their cars, if possible. Right now, that’s not what we’re able to do.”
MPAC was one of the first local businesses to close, on March 12, “and we’ll probably be one of the last to reopen,” she said. So far, MPAC has been focusing on engaging patrons online, with concerts and more at mayoarts.org/virtual-arts.
“We also have an extensive education program that’s being done virtually,” she said. “With our performing arts school, we finished up with our spring semester, and we realized that many of the kids and the young adults and the parents longed for more, and really wanted to participate in more programs, so we started a whole other six-week program that’s geared towards adults and children.
“That’s something that’s been done virtually, but certainly has been very, very popular. Parents are looking for structure for their kids. People are looking for something that they can join in on, with others, because we all feel very isolated. So I think it’s been a great program that we’ve been working on, through our education department.”
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