Country music star Alan Jackson caught the “drive-in” concert bug this weekend, performing one of the first large-scale carside shows in North America since the COVID-19 pandemic caused artists, promoters and venue owners to pause virtually all touring in mid-March – a decision that trade publication Pollstar said could cost the music industry $9 billion this year.

The Country Music Hall of Famer played the first of two Alabama “drive-in” shows this weekend, for an estimated 2,000 vehicles in rural Cullman, about 140 miles south of Nashville. He’s the latest in a growing list of Nashville entertainers, primarily in Christian music and country, to turn to nostalgic drive-in cinemas or open field stages for a music-meets-tailgate experience.

And, as show-goers offered scattered applause from truckbeds and car windows, Jackson said he appreciated returning to the stage.

“I love cars,” Jackson said, greeting a sea of headlights. “This is perfect for me. The main thing we’re just glad to get out of the house and have a good time with y’all down here.”
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