Arts & Leisure

Higher Ground offering drive-in concerts

VERMONT FAVORITE KAT Wright will perform at the Champlain Valley Expo this Sunday, when High Ground will host an event at the fairgrounds where guests in cars space six feet apart can enjoy the show.

Higher Ground, the popular music venue in South Burlington, has built a large stage with video support in the Champlain Valley Expo’s Midway Lawn to provide a space for concerts and community events in the age of physical distancing. 
Up to 250 vehicles can park six feet apart from each other, with room to set up lawn chairs or a blanket in front of each vehicle. 
Video will be broadcast on a state-of-the-art LED video wall, 27 feet wide by 15 feet tall, mounted on a massive 40-foot high structure next to the stage to accommodate sight lines. The LED video wall provides crystal clear resolution in all weather and sound is broadcasted over FM radio.
The HG Drive-In Experience officially opened June 13 with three area high school graduation ceremonies. The first live music show will take place this Sunday, June 21, with a 7 p.m. show by Vermont favorite Kat Wright. Tickets will be sold per vehicle, not per person. This show will cost $99.
Kat Wright’s voice is both sultry and dynamic, delicate yet powerful. Critics say her gritty but highly emotive and nuanced voice is like that of “a young Bonnie Raitt meets Amy Winehouse.” Add to that voice enough stage presence to tame lions, and the combination of feline femininity proves immediately enchanting. There’s soul flowing in and out of her rock ‘n’ roll with a serpentine seduction. 
All guests are expected to adhere to CDC and Vermont guidelines for social distancing while attending drive-in events. Generally: 
• If you are sick, running a fever or have been exposed to COVID-19, stay home until you are healthy.
• For the safety of yourself and others, attend this event only with people in your immediate quarantine circle.
• Maintain 6 feet of social distance between yourself and those outside of your immediate quarantine circle at all times.
• Wear a mask when visiting restrooms/areas outside of the 6 foot radius in front of your parking spot.
• At the conclusion of the show, drive slowly and follow all directions. Event staff will guide cars to the exits.
To see more details and an FAQ on how the venue will operate head online to tinyurl.com/MusicDrivein.
Alex Crothers, founder of Higher Ground, said the goal is to provide a community resource to help facilitate public gatherings of all types. 
“We’ve purposefully left the schedule open so that we can accommodate a broad range of uses,” Crothers said. “We’re in uncharted territory but we imagine religious worship, charity bingo nights, live streaming of concert events, chamber orchestras, live plays, weddings, political rallies, etc. While we practice physical distancing, it’s critical we find avenues to share social and cultural experiences.” 
Dan Smith, president CEO of Middlebury-based Vermont Community Foundation, welcomes the return of live music. 
“We are in the midst of a watershed moment for Vermont communities, and we are excited that this collaboration will provide much-needed support to the arts community throughout our state,” he said. “Theaters, concert halls, and museums are exactly the type of places where people come to heal after hard times, which is why it’s important to preserve the arts now and in the future.”
Visit highergroundmusic.com for more information.

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