The Harvester Performance Center will offer a free outdoor show at the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market on July 3.

The Harvester Performance Center is bringing the music back with live outdoor performances beginning July 3.

The first concert will feature Tin Can Locomotive, led by Franklin County’s Kyle Scott Forry, on July 3 and will be free to the public.

“Emotionally, spiritually we want to bring the magic back that is the Harvester,” said Gary Jackson, Harvester’s general manager. “We’ve been shuttered offering our live-stream shows but, in a few weeks, we want people back and enjoying their favorite artists in a safe, outdoor environment.”

The remainder of the summer and fall will feature both indoor and outdoor shows by an array of bands and talented acts.

“We eagerly anticipate a return to the warm acoustics of indoor shows at the Harvester, but town council has authorized our use of the Farmers’ Market for the summer and fall,” said Matt Hankins, Harvester CEO and Rocky Mount assistant town manager.

All shows will be operating at 33% capacity to follow all recommended social distancing guidelines for the safety of concert-goers. Harvester staff also will take the temperatures of attendees of both indoor and outdoor shows before allowing them in.

Guests are asked to wear masks throughout all concerts unless they are eating or drinking.

To meet social distancing guidelines, inside areas will be limited to 200 people and will contain seating pods in 6-foot circles marked for social distancing.

Outside shows at the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market will be limited to 1,500 people. The stage will feature an audio sound system and lights, and Harvester staff is currently working to erect fencing to ensure safety guidelines are met and to maintain capacity.

Hand sanitizing stations will be available in several areas during indoor and outdoor events.

All events will be held rain or shine, although shows could be moved indoors in the event of severe weather.

Patrons are welcome to bring their own chairs to outdoor concerts, but umbrellas, pop tents and other large items will not be permitted.

“Hosting shows outside, as The Harvester is doing, is good because it gets people excited about live entertainment again,” said Robyn Schon of the Roanoke Civic Center. “They have the space to be able to allow guests to socially distance so, until we can allow guests back inside, this is a great way to enjoy live music.”

During the pandemic shutdown, the Harvester live-streamed shows every weekend, drawing more than 379,000 minutes of viewing on social media.

“Arts and entertainment are crucial elements to the health and well-being of any region,” said Kris Hodges, founder of FloydFest. “The beneficial impacts are immeasurable and vital to all. The Harvester is helping to keep the rich musical heritage alive and well. FloydFest is proud to be partners with The Harvester and looks forward to our continued support of this important venue for many years to come.”

Parking is free and will be available in all the lots and street spaces around the downtown area.

Tickets can be purchased at harvester-music.com or at 484-8277.

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