Blake Shelton concert coming to Dowagiac’s 5 Mile Drive-In on Friday

DOWAGIAC — Country music fans will have a chance to experience the joys of a live concert from the comfort of their cars at dusk Friday night.

The 5 Mile Drive-In, 28190 M-152, Dowagiac, will be hosting Blake Shelton’s Encore Drive-In Nights show, a concert feature filmed exclusively for drive-in theaters across North America. The concert will also feature performances by Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins, with tickets on sale at ticketmaster.com/encore-blakeshelton for $117 per vehicle.

Shelton, one of the most successful country music artists today, has sold more than10 million records worldwide.

“It’s more of an interactive thing,” said 5 Mile Drive-In operator Milton Edwards. “You can turn the volume up as loud or as low as you want. You can bring our own food. Everyone wants to be in the front at a regular concert, but you don’t need to be at the front at the drive-in.”

The concert is the second Encore Drive-In Nights film the drive-in will feature, the first being a sold-out Garth Brooks concert on June 27. According to Edwards, fans can expect an experience tailor-made for drive-in theaters.

“It’s a personal concert for the people that go,” Edwards said. “Brooks recorded a concert set with his band and spoke to the audience as if he was at the drive-in. These guys are actually performing for the people.”

Edwards believes that the Encore Drive-In Nights offers a concert experience without the social anxiety that accompanies most concerts featuring popular acts.

“Most people avoid concerts because of huge crowds,” Edwards said. “The fact that you can be at a concert in your car and your belongings appeals to a lot of people. These concerts aren’t full of raging people drinking. People bring their families. Most of the people like the family feel of the concert venue.”

The drive-in has experienced an increase in traffic this year due to the pandemic, with new revenue coming in from advertisements, and events such as the concert.

“This year has been great for us,” Edwards said. “We’re one of the only places open for folks to go to. Since movie theaters are closed, we’re getting paid to do advertisements, which never happened in the past. That’s been huge for us and hopefully that can continue going forward.”

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