Lee rolling out welcome mat for drive-in-style weekend concert series

A stage is erected on Meadow Street in Lee on Wednesday for a three-night drive-in concert series beginning Friday. It's the first in what organizers hope will be a series of drive-in shows to be held at the site in the coming weeks.

LEE — Live musical entertainment in a bucolic setting — drive-in style — is coming to town this weekend to help beat the coronavirus pandemic blues.

Canna Provisions is sponsoring a three-night concert series featuring some of the region's best-known bands, such as Whiskey City and Rev Tor's Steal Your Peach Band. It's the first in what organizers hope will be a series of drive-in shows to be held at the site in the coming weeks.

Lee's lone recreational marijuana retailer has partnered with 4 Life Entertainment to stage the outdoor event on open land along Meadow Street, across from Drake's Auto Parts, just off Tyringham Road.

The concerts will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and end by 10 p.m., according to organizers. The gates for vehicles will open at 5 p.m., with tickets only available online at rolloninshows.com.

Erik Williams, chief operating officer for Canna, says the concept of drive-up entertainment came in response to the coronavirus outbreak nearly wiping out this summer's Berkshire performing arts summer schedule.

"This will be a social distance event, with cars properly spaced out," he said. "We would love to see about 100 cars a night; that would be terrific."

The shows' producer, 4 Life Entertainment, will have professional parking staff on-site to ensure that vehicles are arranged in a checkerboard pattern to create maximum social distancing, with access lanes between each double row. Two off-duty police officers will handle traffic entering and exiting the site.

A stage, 25 feet from the closest patrons, will feature large LED screens for everyone to feel like they have a front-row seat, Williams said.

A gourmet concession stand is being offered, and those concertgoers bringing their own food must haul away any trash they generate.

Attendees will be allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Williams says Canna is working on getting town approval for beer and wine sales on-site for future concerts this fall.

The website lists the safety rules that include mandatory wearing of masks in the common areas. Concertgoers can sit outside their vehicles if they remain 6 feet apart from the nearest patron. Those not adhering to safety and pandemic protocols could be asked to leave.

Williams says the three days of concerts will serve as a litmus test for staging additional weekend events through Oct. 31.

"It's important to offer the public alternatives to staying at home," he said. "Live entertainment is the epitome of the Berkshires."

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@bewrkshireeagle.com.