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Concert Planners Try To Adjust To Life In The Time Of COVID With Drive-In And Socially-Distanced Shows

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Concerts in a pandemic? It's not an idea everyone's comfortable with, but the village of Orland Park says they've figured out a way to do it.

They've already had a few, and they're hosting another this weekend. CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas learned other concert planners are also trying to save their shows, with varying success.

Saturday in Centennial Park. I think it was August 22.

"In total, we probably had 2,000 to 2,500 people there," Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said.

At the village's free concert on Aug. 22, fans could either listen from their car radios, or sit in a socially distanced pod painted in the grass, according to Pekau. He said the village has hosted other socially-distanced concerts throughout the summer.

"We've shown, we've demonstrated pretty clearly that we can do this safely," he said.

The village is hosting another show this Saturday, with the same setup from last month. Three local bands, one free concert.

Once the pods on the grass at Centennial Park are full, attendance is capped.

"Contact tracing is obviously done by Cook County Health Department, and to our knowledge, we have heard nothing from them that anything has come from any of these venues at all," Pekau said.

They're thinking inside the box, and they're not the only ones trying to get creative.

Tyrus Joseforsky and his Flight Levelz Entertainment company planned to draw 3,000 to 4,000 people to the Brickie Bowl football stadium in Hobart for a country concert featuring Lee Brice on Labor Day weekend.

"We had a plan to socially distance every aspect of the show," Joseforsky said. "Everything that's required by the CDC, we met those guidelines. "

"We had a plan to sanitize every aspect of the show. We had a mask mandate in place," he added

The mayor of Hobart praised his efforts on CBS 2 in June, but the Lake County Health Department called the concert off in early August.

"So that's why it's kind of frustrating that we got the plug pulled on this, but at the end of the day we gotta keep rolling with the punches and moving forward," Joseforsky said.

The Lee Brice concert has been postponed until June 2021. Joseforsky said it wasn't easy, but he's already got the bands on board for the new date.

Drive-in concerts are also on the rise. Jam band Umphrey's  McGee just played two drive-in shows last weekend at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview.


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