A 12-day drive-in concert series that begins later this month should help fill the musical void left by the cancellation of the Minnesota State Fair and all the concerts that go with it, while helping performers who've been forced to cancel shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Relief Sessions Concert Series will run from Aug. 27-Labor Day (Sept. 7) and will include at least 48 musical acts that will perform in the parking lot of the Burnsville Civic Center, 251 Civic Center Pkwy., in Burnsville.
The acts include: The Suburbs, Chris Hawkey Band, GB Leighton, the Flaming Oh's, and a series of tribute acts playing music by Prince, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and Steely Dan.
There will be four to five shows each day, starting at 11 a.m. or noon. Most of the concerts are free before 5 p.m. Tickets for the later shows range from $10-30, with VIP options starting at $150. Buy tickets here (good for up to six people).
Safety precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be in place. Concertgoers will view the performances like it's a drive-in movie, allowed to watch from the inside (tune your radio to 104.7FM) or outside of the vehicle. There will be empty parking spaces between cars to allow for social distancing. Masks are encouraged.
Vehicles aren't required, though. Concertgoers can arrive on motorcycles, by bike or on foot so long as there aren't more than six people to a parking space.
In addition to the shows, there will be five food trucks at the event that you'll call or text to order from and then they'll deliver your food directly to you.
Money from ticket purchases will go to the band for which you bought the ticket, the event's website says, noting many of the performers haven't been able to take in any money due to concerts and events being canceled because of the pandemic.
This event is an extension of the Relief Sessions Summer Concert Series that was held this summer in Burnsville.
"The musicians need it (the concert series) and the people who have attended the first five weeks of The Relief Sessions Summer Concert Series have repeatedly told us how appreciative they are to experience some 'relief' from what is going on by just sitting outside and watching live music again," event organizer Mick Sterling Presents says.
According to Press and News, QCTV and 30-Days Foundation, a Golden Valley-based nonprofit, created The Relief Sessions to help support performers and stagehands during the pandemic.
All sales from CDs for the 12-day series will go to benefit the 30-Days Foundation, with 33% of what is raised being donated to Loaves and Fishes and 33% being donated to Good in the Hood, the event website states.