Salem Civic Center hosts socially distant drive-in concert

About 150 people showed up to party in the parking lot of the Salem Civic Center

SALEM, VA. – As the dog days of summer continue on, people are still using their creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday night, the Salem Civic Center hosted a concert, but instead of inside the arena it was out in the parking lot.

Amy Fender was among the people who came out for a good time, just in a different way than normal.

“I think you should take advantage of the opportunity to get out and breathe some fresh air. You can still feel safe and have fun at the same time,” Fender said.

The concert was the latest opportunity to get outside and have some fun. It was a parking lot concert with one important rule: staying socially distant.

“We are totally separate from everyone else, we have our own space plenty of room,” Fender said.

It’s like a drive in movie, just with rock bands. Whether you sit on top of your car or in a chair, Salem Civic Center director Wendy Delano said it’s all part of the fun.

“It allows us the ability to space out and give people extra room, so instead of being next to each other we’ve got every other car on every other row, plenty of room for people to get outside of their car and enjoy the music,” Delano said.

Adam Rutledge’s band Crowbar Cane and a local opener drew about 150 people. It’s hardly a normal arena show, but that’s the point.

“We’re doing it from both a business and morale perspective we feel like it’s important to be able to give something back to the community and this is a way, everyone associates with music some relief and some normalcy," Delano said.

With no baseball in the stadium or Salem Fair in the parking lot, Fender appreciates outside the box thinking like this.

“As a lifelong Salemite, I definitely have missed the fair, I’ve missed all those events and this is the greatest way to make up for it,” Fender said.