The South Burlington music venue Higher Ground announced Tuesday that it’s building a large stage on the Champlain Valley Exposition grounds in Essex Junction to provide a space for concerts and community events in an age of physical distancing.
Up to 250 vehicles will be able to park six feet from each other on the midway lawn with room to set up lawn chairs or a blanket in front of each vehicle, according to a news release issued by Higher Ground. Videos will be broadcast on a 27-by-15-foot LED video wall.
The project dubbed the HG Drive-In Experience begins June 13 with three local high-school graduation ceremonies. Higher Ground will announce other events and programming in the coming days.
“We’ve purposefully left the schedule open so that we can accommodate a broad range of uses,” Higher Ground co-founder Alex Crothers said in the news release. “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,” according to Crothers, “it’s critical we find avenues to share social and cultural experiences.”
The news release lists several conditions for those interested in attending events, including staying home if sick and wearing masks when visiting restrooms. One ticket will be sold per vehicle (no more than four people per vehicle, including children) and tickets will be available online and in advance only.
Attendees can bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages. Concessions are not available, and outside alcohol is not permitted.
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Higher Ground has been shut down since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Vermont in mid-March, and most of the large-scale concerts Higher Ground scheduled for outside of the club this summer have been canceled or postponed. The major event at the Champlain Valley Exposition, the annual Champlain Valley Fair that takes place in the days leading up to Labor Day, has also been canceled for 2020.
Contact Brent Hallenbeck at (802) 660-1844 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.
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