Q&A with Shane Quick about Friday’s Alan Jackson concert

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Event staff demonstrate how to enjoy Friday evening’s Alan Jackson drive-in concert. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Shane Quick, of Premier Productions and Rock the South, held a media briefing Thursday afternoon at the Rock the South venue, ahead of Friday evening’s Alan Jackson drive-in concert.

Following are Quick’s answers to questions that were asked.

Will people be able to get out of their cars?

“This is as much a tailgate as it is a drive-in. Our number one goal has been to give people the ability to social distance. Every car out here- will be a couple thousand cars- all of them will be 6 feet apart. But people definitely can get out of their cars, get on their tailgates, get outside, bring their lawn chairs, bring your friends and family and enjoy the concert.”

When the question was posed a second time later, Quick added, “You know, calling it a drive-in, I think, kind of made people think they have to stay in their car, but the truth is they don’t have to. They can do that; there’ll be an FM signal where they can listen to the concert in their car, if they feel safe that way.”

Should people come early?

“Definitely. The entrances open at 5:30, so we would suggest: get here as early as you possibly can. The show starts at 6:45 . . . We had Rock the South here last year, so we learned a lot about getting people in here, but this is- none of us have ever done anything like this before. We’re excited. Like I said, about 2,000 cars going to be here, about 6,000 people, and it’s just exciting to get started back allowing people to enjoy live music again, and to do that in a safe fashion. We’re real excited to have that here in Cullman.”

Will people need to wear face masks?

“You definitely can wear a face mask if that makes you feel comfortable, but it’s not a requirement. We will have 6-foot apart social distancing. The capacity of this venue will probably hold 30,000 people; we’re going to be less than a third of that, so we’re well within the state’s guidelines for social distancing. People definitely just need to keep themselves safe and use their heads, and practice social distancing and enjoy the concert right here. I think this is the prettiest weather we’ve had all year, so we’re really excited about that.”

How about VIP parking?

“There’s VIP up front here, so they’ll have the best view of the stage. Yeah, I think Mitch Smith, Pepsi really helped us put on a really great event. This VIP section will be the place to be. It pretty much sold out immediately, so people are definitely ready to enjoy live music once again.”

About an Alan Jackson concert at this time of unrest and fear

“Alan Jackson’s a family man. We love his message, we think he’s a great guy, we think it’s just perfect for the moment that we’re in. Honestly Alan contacted all of us, saying he wanted to come out and do something different. Kudos to him and, wow, he picked Cullman, Alabama as the very first place to do this. It’s a real honor for us, for most of us that live in this part of the world. But yeah, perfect time for this moment, to come out with family and friends with an artist that talks about the values of being an American.”

Who will receive funds donated from proceeds of this concert?

“Cullman Caring for Kids. I think The Tribune actually put out today that the food bank is dangerously low. We would ask that if you’re (reading) this and you’re coming out, please bring some canned goods. We’ll gladly take them. We’re also going to make a donation from this event to Cullman Caring for Kids, which is a really big food bank that takes care of a lot of people. During this time there’s been a lot of people without work, without having food on the table, and they have done an incredible job of helping the people in this community, and so we ask that people bring food. We’ll make sure they have it, and they’ll also be getting a donation from us to hopefully restock that food bank that’s been hit very hard in the past couple months.”

About the tailgating display set up as a backdrop for the interview

“It’s like going to an Alabama or an Auburn game – you wanna set up your tailgate, bring your coolers, your chairs, your blankets. It’s a great view, you know, we’re not right next to each other like we normally would be at the arenas or the theaters or church, but there’ll be a day we get to do that again. In the meantime, we felt like this was a good safe way to allow the people in this area to come together, watch a concert, stay in their own personal space, and be able to enjoy that together. It’s also the lines of getting in and out, you’re able to do that in your car. A lot of people are starting to do this around the country – it’s really cool that we’re one of the first people to do it, definitely one of the largest ones. Literally some of the top managers and agents in the music industry are all gonna be in Cullman on Friday night, watching how we’re doing this as they’re trying to figure out how to get their artists back in front of a live audience. So it’s kind of an honor to be able to host those guys, welcome them here, and also do something incredible with an incredible artist like Alan Jackson. We’re just excited to see the hotels full again and some tourism happening again in this part of the world. A lot of people depend on it, so we hope it makes a positive impact on this entire area.

How do people bring in their vehicles?

“We’ll have a parking team of first-come, first-serve, so the earlier you get here the better your parking place is. Once you pull in you’ll be directed to a spot, and we’re gonna start in the front and work our way to the back. So get here at 5:30 and be patient – the show starts at 7:45, everyone’s gonna get to see an amazing show. As all your weathermen and women have been telling us the past couple days, this may be the best weather we’ve had all year long. Come out, keep each other safe; we’ve all had a hard few months, and I think this is a way we can all come together and celebrate being alive on this day. We’re just excited to do it in Cullman. (AlanJackson.com)…If you still need tickets, there’s still just a few left. We’re excited to partner with Mitch Smith Chevrolet and Pepsi, some of the local sponsors who’ve helped us put this together.”

Will this event create a model for other artists and events?

“We’re talking to several artists. There’s grounds, fairgrounds, property like this in Dallas and Pennsylvania and places all over the country that we’re looking to bring a similar event like this to. Some of the top booking agents and artist managers are gonna be here. Our company does a lot of work in the faith industry, so we do a lot of big Christian-based events, and a lot of our artists are looking to get back out, so this is a blueprint. It’s to the scale where an artist can actually get in front of as many people as possible. We hope that this will be the first of many, and it’s fun to start in your home town.”

Quick concluded, “If you were going to tailgate at an Auburn or an Alabama game, or a Blazers game, if that’s what you’re into, people in the South know how to tailgate, and that’s really the basis of what it is. You can get out of your car, enjoy the beautiful weather, see the people around you at a safe distance. Bring your family and friends, and come see Alan Jackson Friday night here in Cullman.”

Details: Alan Jackson Small Town Drive-In Concert

Friday, June 5 at York Farms, 1872 County Road 469, Cullman, AL

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:45 p.m.

VIP: $199.99 (closest access to stage)

General Admission | Car (up to two passengers): $99.99

VIP Additional Passenger: $59.99

GA Additional Passenger: $39.99

Cooler Fee (to bring in a cooler): $10

www.alanjackson.com/drive-in

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com

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Heather Mann

heather@cullmantribune.com