TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - For many, music is an escape. It’s a way to tune out some difficulties in our lives while getting lost in a melody.
With Arizona’s reopening, entertainment has returned. However, the concert industry has had to get creative in order to follow safety guidelines.
On Wednesday, May 20, Frank Lopez performed on stage for the first time in two months. The FLG Frank Lopez Group - a Tribute to Santana played a sold-out show in the parking lot of The Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley.
“It’s different,” Lopez said. “[There’s] a lot of cars, a lot of metal.”
A drive-in concert was the only way Gaslight Music could accommodate a large audience while adhering to the recommended physical distancing measures set forth by health officials.
“We do [parking] in like a checkerboard pattern, one space between every car, and nothing back to front,” said Tony Terry, the Owner of The Gaslight Music Hall and Theatre.
A single-use restroom was sanitized in between guests. All employees wore face masks, and Terry says they had their temperatures taken before work.
Despite the changes, for concertgoers like Tammy and Ted Handy, it was easy to get swept away in the music.
“We are thrilled,” Tammy said. “We were absolutely thrilled to have [Gaslight Music concerts] come back! To be able to dance again, to listen to some live music.”
“Music is healing,” Lopez said. “It heals people, it makes you feel good.”
For Terry, it’s about more than putting on a good show. It’s about his employees; all of whom Terry continued to pay even when there was barely any work and his profits tanked.
“We don’t make a lot of money off of this, but my staff does,” he said. “That’s what it’s really about. If I can keep my staff employed and they can feed their families and take care of their families, then [this] is a win.”
Wednesday’s drive-in concert, which accommodated more than 100 cars and even more guests, sold out in one day. The FLG Frank Lopez Group will perform outside the Gaslight Music Hall again on Thursday, May 21st, at 6:30 p.m. That show is already sold out. However, more will be scheduled in the coming weeks. For more information, click here.