Hundreds enjoy North’s first drive-in country music concert

Fans were able to listen with their left windows down, sunroof open or through the car radio

 

Hundreds of revellers have packed a football ground for Northern Ireland’s first drive-in country music concert.

The socially distanced gathering at Ballymena Showgrounds in Co Antrim drew around 400 vehicles on Friday evening.

The Farmers Bash Country Drive-In featured stars Derek Ryan, Marty Mone and Philomena Begley.

The first show sold out in less than half an hour, and a second is planned for Saturday evening.

It was supported by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Drive-in revellers, who have packed a football ground for Northern Ireland’s first drive in country music concert at Ballymena Showgrounds in C Antrim. PA Photo. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Drive-in revellers, who have packed a football ground for Northern Ireland’s first drive in country music concert at Ballymena Showgrounds in C Antrim. PA Photo. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Country fans were able to listen with their left windows down, sunroof open or even through the car radio.

The event was staged in compliance with Stormont Covid-19 restrictions which limit the size of outdoor gatherings to reduce the spread of the disease.

On-site toilets with controlled queuing were available.

Food providers served directly to cars to maintain social distancing and avoid queuing.

The live music industry has been devastated by the lockdown.

Sir Van Morrison, Snow Patrol and Ash are among almost 150 artists urging urgent financial support for Northern Ireland’s music industry to survive.

They have written a letter to the Department for Communities in Belfast.

Music venues shut in March. Stormont ministers have not yet said when live performances can resume. Pubs which serve food reopened on July 3rd.

Due to the restrictions, many will not schedule DJs or live music for some time.–PA