Pandemic means fans must remain inside cars during Northern Ireland’s first country drive-in concert set for Ballymena

Derek Ryan will be on stage.

THE coronavirus lockdown has seen drive-in religious services, takeaways, cinemas, shopping, and now Northern Ireland is set for its first ever drive-In country music concert next month when the Ballymena Showgrounds will be the venue for the Farmers Bash Country Drive-In.

Supported by Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, the Showgrounds will be transformed into a huge music venue on Saturday 4th July with upwards of 400 vehicles expected.

To give it an added dimension and in keeping with the Farmers’ Bash rural audience, a limited tractor park section within the grounds will also be available with strict social distancing guidelines being observed.

The line-up at Ireland’s first ever country music drive-in will see Derek Ryan, Marty Mone and country queen Philomena Begley take to the huge stage performing for the first time in weeks in front of a live audience.

Derek and Philomena are also expected to perform their current duet ‘It Won’t rain Forever” at the unique mid-summer event.

With FM transmission of the music directly to car radios, country fans will also be able to benefit from the on-site PA system and can listen with their windows down or sunroof open.

Promoter Darren Gardiner from LSFX Productions realises that concerts could be on hold for the rest of the year and this will be a new way to enjoy live music, at least in the short term.

He admits that preparing for this event will be challenging and in light of Government and Public Health regulations states that ticketholders must adhere to strict guidelines whilst attending.

He said: “The safety of our staff and attendees is paramount at all times and although we want to encourage country music fans to come along and enjoy this ‘first ever’ experience, it will be compulsory that everyone adheres to our strict COVID-19 ‘Visit Safe’ guidelines. The message is simple; come in your car….stay in your car….leave in your car”.

On-site toilets with controlled queuing will be available but only if absolutely necessary. There will be a selection of food available with providers serving directly to cars so as to maintain social distancing and avoid queuing.

Gates open at 5.00 p.m. with tickets for the Farmers’ Bash ‘Country Drive-In’ going on sale on Friday 5th June at 9am.

More details can be found at www.farmersbash.com

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