Concerns over drive-in country music concerts causing damage to Showgrounds pitch are allayed

Ballymena Showgrounds

THE drive-in country music concerts to be held at Ballymena Showgrounds next month will not be taking place on any pitches at the complex but at the car park at the Ecos side of the ground, Ballymena Daily can reveal.

Stock car racing no longer takes place at the Showgrounds but this was the scene in the past when the main pitch was damaged.

 

Two ‘Farmers Bash’ concerts are to be held next month and when the news emerged some people had expressed concern on social media that areas like the main pitch could be damaged by hundreds of vehicles.

The main pitch at the Showgrounds – home ground of Ballymena United – is currently in very good condition.

There have been difficulties with the surface of the pitch in recent years but the coronavirus lockdown has meant there has been no action on the pitch for several months.

The Showgrounds is owned by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council who have confirmed to ‘Ballymena Daily’ the country concerts will take place at the car park at the Ecos side of the ground.

The first drive-in concert – at which people can attend in cars and tractors – scheduled for July 4 quickly sold out and a second date has now been added – Friday July 3.

The concert promoters – LSFX Productions – stress that people must stay in their vehicles as part of social distancing because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Meanwhile, a Council spokesperson told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “We are delighted to be supporting Northern Ireland’s first drive-in concert, the Farmer’s Bash, in our Borough next month.

“This event is being organised and managed by a highly experienced team which will deliver a fantastic evening’s entertainment, with strict adherence to Covid-19 public health and Executive guidelines.

“Access to the large, open-air site has been restricted to just 400 vehicles, and the event is in keeping with Executive guidance on the hosting of outdoor concerts, as widely issued on 18 May.

“As stated by the organisers, those attending will arrive in their cars or tractors, stay in their vehicles, then leave in their vehicles. There will be a zero-tolerance approach to any breaches of these instructions.

“While there will be toilet facilities available, these can be accessed in emergency circumstances only, with strict cleaning and social distancing measures in place.

“Council continues to work closely with the event organisers and the PSNI, who are aware of, and content with, the event taking place.

“Major events such as this taking place in Mid and East Antrim are key to our economic and tourism recovery plans.”

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