PICTURED: Renowned rapper and Ventura native Kyle. Photo submitted

by Kateri Wozny

Due to school closures in March, 2020 graduates have missed out on many of the
spring events that make their final school year so memorable. As a special salute to
them, a new drive-in concert series will debut June 26-27 at the Ventura County
Fairgrounds. Congrats to Grads! is a 75-minute celebration featuring a concert by
Ventura native Kyle (aka Super Duper Kyle), a visual light show, multimedia
entertainment and a video saluting this year’s graduates. Tickets start at $49 for a
vehicle with up to five people. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Ventura County food
bank Food Share.

Congrats to Grads! is the initial offering from Concerts in Your Car, Ventura County’s
first interactive, social distancing event series taking place at the Ventura County
Fairgrounds. Live concerts, comedians, films and more will be presented this summer,
all to be enjoyed from the comfort of one’s vehicle. These drive-in events are being
hosted by CBF Productions, a festival production company that has hosted Boots and
Brews, the Tequila and Taco Music Festival and the Winter and Spring Wine Walks.
“Even with social distancing, we wanted to give people a way to get out, celebrate and
have some fun!” said Vincenzo Giammanco, president of CBF Productions. “It’s
nostalgic to think about drive-in movie theaters. We are paying homage to that but
taking it to the next level.”

Events will be held for 75 to 90 minutes weekly, ranging from comedy and drive-in
movie nights to Top 40 concerts and kids’ productions. There will be room for 500 cars
per show in the fairgrounds parking lot, designed to comply with all official restrictions.
According to Giammanco, a good viewing experience for everyone will be achieved
through an extra-high stage and oversized screens. Ticket prices will range from $49 to
$200 per vehicle, depending on the spot. Tickets will be available on the Concerts in
Your Car website.

“This might be the only way to get entertainment in 2020,” Giammanco said.
Once parked at the fairgrounds, in order to maintain social distancing, attendees will not
be allowed to leave their vehicles. No tailgating or sitting in truck beds will be allowed,
either. Large LED screens will project the act or movie, while audience members can
listen to the audio via the specified FM radio station listed on the ticket.
“We tested this out and everyone will have great sound,” Giammanco confirmed.

Prior to attending, audience members may also pick up food from participating
Downtown Ventura restaurants and bring it to the event.
“We want to create an economic impact downtown and get us going again,”
Giammanco said.

He added that it’s more important than ever to live life during the pandemic.
“It’s a very interesting time to live through but fun is not canceled for 2020,” Giammanco
said. “It will be an historic event and we are excited to do it in our own backyard in
Ventura.”

Kyle performs on Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27, at the Ventura County
Fairgrounds, 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura. Both shows start at 8 p.m. For tickets and
more information, visit www.concertsinyourcar.com.