The Drive at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds will kick off its new live “The Drive-in Concert Series” on Oct. 23 with The Marcus King Band.
A socially distanced drive-in movie and entertainment venue, The Drive provides outdoor movies and live events in the Triad. The venue is managed by Focus Event Group based in High Point.
Marcus King, 24, is described in a press release by The Drive as a guitar phenom and innovative songwriter who can “simultaneously switch from swaggering rock to supersonic soul, having written songs and performed onstage for half his lifetime.”
His debut solo album, “El Dorado” topped the Americana radio charts and has received critical acclaim from magazines such as American Songwriter and Rolling Stone, which described him as an “electrifying rock performer.”
The Marcus King Trio also includes drummer Jack Ryan and bass player Stephen Campbell. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds at 2886 Shorefair Drive, N.W.
Tickets, which range from $100 to $275 per vehicle (five people per vehicle maximum) are on sale now at thedrivemovie.com.
In November, The Drive will present three more live concerts at 7:30 p.m. — Big Something on Nov. 6, Parmalee on Nov. 7 and Saint Paul and the Broken Bones on Nov. 21.
In July, The Drive opened a drive-in movie theater at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds.
Chris King, president of Focus Event Group and operator of The Drive, said the venue had gotten permission from the state of North Carolina for the concerts and recently got approval from Winston-Salem.
“This will be the first one,” he said of The Marcus King Band. “We’re already talking with the fairgrounds about coming back next year and talking to artists about booking shows for next year. We’re already looking at dates into April of next year and beyond.”
He said he appreciates the cooperation and support of Mayor Allen Joines and the City of Winston-Salem.
The Drive offers parking spots spaced 8 feet apart, touch-free ticketing and entry process, and concessions (including beer and wine) that can be ordered by mobile app and delivered to vehicles.
The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds plans, promotes and produces annual events including the Carolina Classic Fair and agricultural, fraternal, educational, social and entertainment activities year-round. The venue’s facilities are open for rental to the public.
The fairgrounds typically offers more than 100 events, including concerts, each fiscal year, but because of the pandemic, it had about 65 events from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, said Robert Mulhearn, public assembly facility manager for the City of Winston-Salem.
“We have experience with the concerts and because of the whole pandemic we started working with Chris at The Drive on drive-in movies out here ... We are essentially merging what we know with concerts and what we know with this drive-in that we’ve done with the movies.
"It’s going to be a safe drive-in experience. We’re excited about it,” King said.
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