An award-winning local independent producer/promoter is bringing a slate of incredible music talent to perform a series of concerts starting this weekend at the Manchester Athletic Club. 

The GIMMELIVE MAC SUMMER DRIVE-IN CONCERT SERIES kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday July 25 with seven-time Blues Music Award and five-time Grammy Nominee Roomful of Blues, that just released its 6th album on Alligator Records entitled “In A Roomful Of Blues.” 

Then, legendary soul/blues singer/bandleader Barrence Whitfield will “Rock the Lot” will perform following day, Sunday, July 26 also at 6pm. 

The gate for each show opens at 5:45pm.  The program will use the MAC’s football-field-sized parking lot, which is located just off Route 128 off Exit 15.

“Everyone we know – artists and fans alike – have suffered too long without live music,” explains Peter Van Ness, co-owner of gimmeLIVE with his wife, Vickie. “We all know that music is a powerful healing force and attending concerts reduces stress and promotes joy and peace in our community,” he continues. “We feel a strong responsibility that the show must go on, so we are re-inventing the concert experience to make it safe and keep it fun.”

Peter and Vickie, who live in Gloucester, currently own gimmeLIVE, the area's premier independent, family-owned concert promotion and production company which runs 9 Wallis, an intimate, elegant listening room in Beverly that has been shuttered since March 15 due to the pandemic.  GIMMELIVE has also produced some of the most critically acclaimed concerts and festivals on Boston's North Shore.  

Ten years ago, Roomful of Blues co-headlined “Celebrate Gloucester” (with Henri Smith & the late Charles Neville of The Neville Brothers) a waterfront music festival, produced by gimmeLIVE, celebrating the City’s long-awaited purchase of a highly contested waterfront lot known to locals as I4-C2.

“It just seems right that Roomful of Blues makes their triumphant return to Cape Ann on the 10th anniversary of their iconic performance at Celebrate Gloucester,” says Van Ness.  “And when Barrence Whitfield brings it home with his heart-felt, uplifting soul, rock & gospel the following day, you’ve got yourself the kind of joyful, healing weekend we all need right now.”

GIMMELIVE bringing a large stage and festival-quality sound to the venue, plus the latest technology to provide contactless ticket sales and check-in.  Each car gets 2 parking spaces.  Concertgoers can put a lawn chair in the space next to their car.  There will be about 16 feet and a car separating all people in lawn chairs.  The closest car will be at least 25 feet from the stage.  Concertgoers will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing if they leave their space to use the porta-potties provided.  All staff will wear masks.  

Next week features former Yardbirds lead guitarist Johnny A. on Saturday, August 1 and J. Geils Band founding member, Danny Klein’s Full House (playing J. Geils hits) on Sunday, August 2.  The following week features Boston’s iconic The Fools on Saturday, Aug 8th and blues legend James Montgomery with special guest Christine Ohlman (SNL Band’s Beehive Queen) on Sunday, August 9th.

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