COVID-19 may have forced the cancellation of many Montana summer festivals, parades, rodeos, concerts and fairs this year, but it won’t keep Gallatin Valley country music fans from the opportunity to take in an epic performance next week.
Tickets go on sale tomorrow (June 19) at 10 a.m. for the Garth Brooks concert that will be play at drive-in theaters all across North America at dusk on June 27. The local showing will happen at The Pasture, a new drive-in theater opened this spring by Manhattan High School senior Porter Blanchard, who came up with the idea to provide “a safe way to social distance and have fun.”
After it opened, The Pasture drive-in immediately began turning a profit and attracting customers to the Blanchard family field in Churchill. It also won Blanchard the top prize in a nationwide entrepreneurship contest, as reported in the Belgrade News last month. But despite all those successes, Blanchard said he never envisioned The Pasture hosting something as iconic as the Garth Brooks Encore Live concert, which was created exclusively for the same reasons he conceived the idea for his drive-in: i.e., to provide a safe entertainment option that families can enjoy together.
“This is too cool of a thing to happen,” Blanchard said, as he set about the significant preparations necessary for The Pasture to host the concert. Those include renting a larger screen visible to the occupants of as many as 100 cars, finding willing food vendors, and renting portable toilets.
“And we gotta cut the hay before everyone drives on the field,” he said.
Tickets are available through Ticketmaster for $100 per car. Blanchard points out “that’s pretty good as concerts go,” considering that up to five people can fit into most cars.
Jake Klein, a spokesman for Encore Live, said the show will be seen at more than 300 drive-in theaters in the United States and Canada. As of Tuesday, the only other Montana drive-in he knew of planning to show the concert was in Hamilton.
Tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks. More information is available on The Pasture’s Facebook page.