VIDEO: A lighthearted guide to new parking lot events at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre
This week, the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township will host its first-ever outdoor events in its massive parking lot. For the past month, social media has been flooded with questions on how these live shows will work – what types of vehicles are allowed, if attendees can leave their vehicles, what is and is not permitted through the gates, etc. – so the arena recently released a friendly user’s guide video to help clear things up.
Produced by Scranton media production company Ionic Development, the amusing and informative video is hosted by Mohegan Sun Arena General Manager Will Beekman and stars his two young daughters who were “willing to work for Malacari’s Ice Cream.”
An artist’s rending shows where the stage with its LED video screens will be built, and each vehicle will have an extra space where people can stretch their legs, sit, or dance to the music. Outside food and drinks are allowed, and portable restrooms and hand-washing stations will be available. Watch the video for the full breakdown and stay for the adorable kids:
1,000 socially distanced vehicles can fit in the parking lot, and up to four occupants will be permitted per vehicle.
The first of these “Live from the Lot” events will be “Come Together: A Community Benefit Concert for the Arts” on Thursday, July 16 at 6 p.m., followed by Queen tribute band Almost Queen and Philadelphia Freedom: A Tribute to Elton John on July 17 and stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan on July 18.
“Come Together” is slated to be the largest gathering of Northeastern Pennsylvania musicians this year. Joe Nardone Jr., the co-owner of two Gallery of Sound record stores and the owner of Rockology Music Academy, saw an opportunity to get local artists back on stage when the initial shows were announced.
“The credit goes to Joe Nardone for coming up with this idea. We already had a few shows scheduled for that weekend, so he reached out to me to see if we could add another event that would benefit some great organizations in our community. We have the space, but he had the idea and the passion,” Mohegan Sun Arena General Manager Will Beekman told NEPA Scene last week.
“Joe was quick to contact AJ Jump from Karl Hall, and AJ led the way in terms of curating this thing.”
Nardone and Jump, a drummer and co-owner of Wilkes-Barre music venue Karl Hall, had both the knowledge and the connections to organize an impressive lineup and, thankfully, concertgoers won’t have to stay inside their cars to enjoy it.
“Everything is a challenge under these current conditions, but we feel like we have found a comfort zone somewhere between letting people have a good time and keeping everyone safe. People can get out of their cars to enjoy the show from a dedicated tailgating space, but social distancing will be strictly enforced, and masks must be worn at all times when outside of the designated area. We will let everyone have a good time, but we will also make sure that they follow the necessary guidelines to keep everyone safe,” Beekman noted.
“There are a lot of people, like yourself, who are constantly pushing this community in a positive direction, and I think a lot of that is coming to light during this pandemic. I will always be a cheerleader for this community. I think it’s a great place in which to live, work, and play. The community has been very good to me, and I want to make sure that’s always a two-way street. The art and music scenes in our area have long been very strong. It’s impressive to look at all of the great musicians who either live here or originated from here. It’s a special place.”
The varied rock lineup features Tigers Jaw (acoustic set), Lifer, Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen, University Drive, Esta Coda, Modern Ties, The Mule Team, James Barrett, Joe Burke & Co., Blind Choice, and two current members of multi-platinum Wilkes-Barre rock band Breaking Benjamin presenting two different projects. Drummer Shaun Foist is bringing his side project, Ohio alternative rock band ViFolly, to Wilkes-Barre for the first time, and bassist/backing vocalist Aaron Bruch will lead a Pan.a.ce.a reunion set on vocals, taking over for singer Tim Farley, who now lives in Texas.
100 percent of proceeds from “Come Together” will be donated to nonprofits, theaters, and performance centers that have been heavily impacted by COVID-19, such as the F.M. Kirby Center, Karl Hall, The Ritz Theater, the Scranton Cultural Center, the Dietrich Theater, Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre, the McGlynn Center in Wilkes-Barre, WVIA, Axelrad Screen Printing, and Luzerne County Head Start.
“Music is a community, and the pandemic has negatively impacted just about all aspects of it. It’s important for us to use our collective platforms to help out venues and theaters in our area so they will still be there on the other side of this,” Tigers Jaw vocalist/guitarist Ben Walsh said.
“We wouldn’t be anywhere without our experiences growing up in the NEPA music scene. This scene has always been such a diverse, positive, and uplifting community, which results in so many talented artists having the encouragement and support to do things their own way and develop their own unique style.”
Social distancing measures will operate in accordance with Pennsylvania guidelines, according to an arena press release:
- Vehicles will be spaced to accommodate social distancing.
- Cars will park in a staggered fashion to achieve spacing and best visibility.
- Patrons may only leave their vehicles to use their tailgating space adjacent to their vehicle, restrooms, or to obtain concessions.
- A maximum of four people are allowed in each tailgating space.
- Masks must be worn by any patrons traveling to and from portable restrooms and concessions.
- Portable, single-stall restrooms will be located throughout the parking lot and cleaned frequently.
Additional information for these first-of-a-kind concert experiences:
- Passenger vehicles only. No motorcycles, buses, party buses, limousines, RVs, bicycles, or foot traffic allowed. ADA accessible vehicles will be permitted.
- All tickets are general admission and spots cannot be reserved.
- Guests may bring their own food and beverage. No grills permitted.
- Event is rain or shine.
- Event will take place in the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza parking lot. All cars must enter through the main entrance from Highland Park Boulevard.
- Audio amplification will be announced at the event.
- Cars with more than four adults will be turned away without refund.
- Vehicles are subject to search upon entry.
- No pets allowed.
- Once parked, vehicle relocation is not permitted.
- Please follow parking attendants’ directions to your parking spot.
- Please pull forward into the spot – don’t try to back in.
- If you wish to park with your friends, we recommend you meet away from the venue and drive in together.
For a list of frequently asked questions, visit mohegansunarenapa.com/events/drivein.