Brett Kissel returning to Regina for a drive-in live performance amid COVID-19

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The last time Brett Kissel was to perform at Evraz Place, to open for Garth Brooks, his set was a casualty of the weather.

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Ashley Martin Regina Leader-Post Brett Kissel opens the show at the Country Thunder Humboldt Broncos Tribute in Saskatoon on April 27, 2018. Brett Kissel opens the show at the Country Thunder Humboldt Broncos Tribute in Saskatoon on April 27, 2018. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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Regina will see its first drive-in concerts next week, as Brett Kissel is scheduled to perform outdoors at Evraz Place.

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Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) is hosting the Alberta country musician on Saturday, June 20, in the parking lot south of the Brandt Centre.

The first concert for 7 p.m. was announced Thursday, but sold out quickly on Friday morning. REAL since added two more Kissel concerts — one at 10 p.m., and one at 4 p.m — that also sold out. Each show will be an hour long.

“We recognize people are getting antsy with staying home and, for us, we’re getting antsy not being able to put on the shows we’re used to,” REAL CEO Tim Reid said in a news release sent Thursday.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy a live show all while practicing physical distancing.”

People will attend in cars. No food or beverage will be available on site. There will be limited bathroom availability.

“One of the greatest ways to bring people together is through music — it’s been amazing,” Kissel recently told the Edmonton Journal. “It’s what I love to do. And before COVID-19 it was a specialty for me, you bring people together, you get paid, and you have an epic Saturday night.

“Well, that’s gone now.”

Kissel was speaking prior to performing six sold-out drive-in concerts in Edmonton to fundraise for food banks.

The stage was being built to contain his band behind Plexiglas shields; everyone would have to enter the stage separately, at different times, as health precautions.

“I can’t interact with my band members. That’s what’s going to be comical, awkward — when the fiddler does a solo I go right up to him and we go back to back and we party. But that’s how it goes in this era of social distancing,” said Kissel.

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Those shows ran for about an hour, due to lack of washrooms on site.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m so cooped up I would play for 24 hours, if I could,” said Kissel.

The last time Kissel was to perform at Evraz Place, his set was a casualty of the weather: He was scheduled to open for country superstar Garth Brooks at Mosaic Stadium on Aug. 9, 2019, but a thunderstorm and downpour postponed the concert’s start time by almost three hours.

Kissel did make an appearance, joining Brooks to perform “Friends In Low Places,” about which Brooks remarked, “The future of country music, in my opinion, is safe” with Kissel.

In a tweet advertising the upcoming Regina concert, the award-winning artist quoted from a 2013 song, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do! See you next weekend!”

Tickets for the show go on sale Friday, June 12, at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster ( Admission for the performance will range from $60 to $100 per vehicle.

REAL will be collecting non-perishable food donations for the Regina Food Bank, and is encouraging monetary donations online when you purchase your tickets.

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