Summer drive-in sounds to return to Tupelo

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Music fans sit in lawn chairs as they listen to Tim Theriault performing on stage during last year’s first-ever drive-in outdoor concert series at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry. The music venue announced that outdoor drive-in concerts will return this summer. Photo/Tim Jean

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DERRY, NH — Presenting live music is what the Tupelo Music Hall is all about.

And now the Derry venue on A Street will once again continue that mission, announcing that drive-in concerts will once again be held this summer.

The pandemic’s challenges have continued to plague entertainment sites and venues, and the Tupelo was not immune to those challenges.

In a recent announcement, Tupelo owner Scott Hayward said there are already 35 dates secured for this season’s outdoor lineup with shows scheduled to begin in May.

“We are bringing music back to you in May and I can’t wait,” Hayward said in a statement.

When the Tupelo had to close its doors a year ago due to the coronavirus, Hayward spoke out online about the challenges and heartache he had to deal with, canceling shows, and wondering if any of those shows would be rescheduled.

Many artists planned for the Tupelo stage had canceled their complete tours.

Hayward and his wife Julie took on other ventures to support the community and the business including a Family Meals and Supplies Program, that offered freshly made meals and other staples like paper products to those in need, and also for patrons who wanted to continue to support the music venue.

As the weather got warmer last year, bringing a drive-in option to the music hall seemed like another good idea.

And last year’s inaugural outdoor season, known as the “Tupelo Drive-In Experience,” was a good one with many sold-out performances.

And the musicians were grateful they had a place to play, Hayward said in an earlier interview.

“They were very, very appreciative of it and felt super safe,” he said.

Last year, Hayward was also an outspoken advocate for music and entertainment venues and what they were going through, hosting visits from federal officials representing the U.S. Small Business Administration, and having a sit-down, outdoor talk with U.S. Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01).

Hayward said in his recent statement he predicts the outdoor venue will be held most of this summer.

Hayward added that more details on specific show details will be announced soon. For information, visit the Tupelo at tupelomusichall.com.


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