FREDERICK, Md (WDVM) – The event industry has been one of the hardest hit economically in the past year, but those days could soon be coming to an end with COVID cases trending downwards and restrictions being lifted.
The Frederick Fairgrounds have long served as the staging area for concerts and events of all types, but had to adapt to the pandemic – transforming their normal standing areas into parking spaces.
Aaron Kovelman with Showtime at the Drive-In transitioned the fairgrounds into a COVID-safe venue in 2020. It set the stage for bands to play while concert-goers can watch from the comfort of their designated spaces.
“I think we’ve weathered the storm extremely well,” Kovelman said. “and we’re all excited to get back to a sense of normality for live music.”
Concert promoter Tim Walther with All Good Presents said they expect to sell out more than half of their upcoming shows.
“People are having a blast,” he said. “People really love the concept of coming out here and setting up their camps, parking their car, having a space next to it, being able to bring their food and beverage.”
The band Galactic from New Orleans headlined a recent show at the Fairgrounds. Bassist Robert Mercurio said their 2020 tour canceled by the pandemic, and they’re excited to be performing live again.
“People have a little extra pep in their step when they’re entering the venue,” he said. “I’ve been [told] by a lot of people that we’ve been their first show ‘back to seeing music,” so that’s really special.”
The band found ways to keep busy during their COVID-forced hiatus, streaming shows online, performing sidewalk shows and other forms of performing within safety restrictions.
“It’s been doing what we can, as we can,” Galactic’s drummer Stanton Moore said.
For some attendees, drive in concerts serve as a smooth transition back into live music.
“I don’t think I’m ready to go to a normal conceert or sporting event, so this is great,” concert goer Dina Goldman said. “But maybe in the future? I don’t know, it kind of depends.”
As concert venues begin their transition back to pre-COVIDcrowds, venue coordinators have indicated their may still be a place for these drive-in concerts well after the pandemic is over.