The decorated CanCountry star has sold out six ticketed drive-in concerts that take place in a casino lot outside Edmonton on June 13 and 14.
With three two-hours shows, 4, 7 and 11 pm on both nights, and a capacity of 185 cars per show (as stipulated by health authorities) at the main parking lot of the River Cree Resort and Casino outside of Edmonton, proceeds from Kissel and his five-piece band are to be donated to food banks through a program set up by (principal sponsor) Sobeys and its Safeway brand.
The audio feed from the full concert production will be fed to a Stingray FM channel that is also scheduled to be broadcast nationally. Band members will be performing on a stage with lights, with members separated by plexiglass shields.
According to Kissel’s manager Louis O’Reilly at Invictus Entertainment Group, the company is shooting a ‘making of' doc at the site with negotiations for a dedicated broadcast carrier under discussion.
The speed with which the shows sold out is a big boost for concert promoters everywhere who have been suffering shell shock from the pandemic lockdown.
As Kissel himself explained in a May 25 Twitter burst: “OMG! The appetite for live country music is so strong! We sold out show #1 in 5 minutes. We sold out show #2 in 15 minutes. Adding 2 x more shows on Saturday (@ 4pm) / & Sunday (@ 4pm)!”
If all that weren’t enough, there is a plan to announce a pair of matinee shows with an unnamed artist that will serve a unique purpose in these covid times.
Show banners for the series feature the all-cap declaration: 'Tough Times Don’t Last. Tough People Do’. It’s a Kissel-esque touch that speaks to the hard-working ethos that has earned him a strong fan base, and one which he often rallies for causes close to the heart. This time it's for the needy at home, and earlier it was to help a charity providing shelter and services to those affected by a tornado that ripped through Nashville, TN, in March. That Edmonton concert staged before the lockdown raised $57K for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s emergency response fund, $3200 of which came from auctioning off two rolls of toilet paper which no doubt added a bit of levity to a cause that was deadly serious.
Over the past decade, Kissel has received a showcase of Canadian Country Music Association Awards, (including two consecutive wins for Male Artist of the Year and Fans' Choice trophies). He is also the recipient of the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada's Walk of Fame (previously presented to Drake, Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd), the Breakthrough Artist of the Year winner at the Juno Awards, and was recognized as the International Artist of the Year at a Worldwide Radio Summit in Hollywood, California. The Warner Music Canada act has also racked up 16 Top 10 hits since Started With A Song was released in 2013.
Further details about the show can be found here.