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Enjoy live music social distancing style at drive-in Lavenham gigs

Live gigs are returning to the region – but with a socially-distant difference.

Promoter John Hessenthaler has planned three nights of drive-in gigs for Lavenham, so music lovers can enjoy entertainment from their vehicles or their own picnic area beside each car.

John has organised the events to ensure audiences can stay as safe as possible, with packaged headphones given to every attendee, cars parked at a distance to ensure adequate space for private picnics and a clear view, and telephone bar service with refreshments delivered to the car.

John Hessenthaler, the man who brought The Clash to the Corn Exchange (36730438)
John Hessenthaler, the man who brought The Clash to the Corn Exchange (36730438)

The Midsummer Drive-In Concerts are being held on August 14, 15 and 16 at Lavenham Sports Pavilion Arena.

“I have been a music promoter since the 70s and since lockdown there has been no live music going on at all and probably not much chance of it in the near future – who knows?” said John.

“This is a follow on from the traditional drive-in movies. We will be parking cars strategically so they are 3.5 metres from each other. People can sit in or outside their cars, meaning if it rains they have shelter or they can enjoy an outdoor picnic and still have a good view.

“The only reason people might have to leave their cars is to use the toilet facilities, and this will be controlled.

“I can see a hesitancy in the marketplace but hope I have covered most angles and people will feel confident to buy tickets.

“What I’m doing here is thinking outside the box.”

He hopes the idea will be a success which could be rolled out to other areas or other forms of entertainment or gathering – for example drive-in movies or church services.

“I have offered Lavenham Church the chance to use the infrastructure on the Sunday morning so they could have drive-in worship,” added John.

On August 14, The Robbie Gladwell Band featuring Harry Green will take to the stage. On August 15 it is the turn of UK Queen – a Queen greatest hits show. Finally, on August 16, A Saucerful of Floyd – The Pink Floyd Show – will perform.

Gates open at 5pm for all performances. Shows start at 7pm and end at 9.30pm.

For further information and tickets, go to www.oeplive.com or call 01256 416384.