Last month, MTN News reported a story about a Manhattan High School senior who built his own drive-in theater out in his pasture to do his part during the pandemic.
Since then, he’s graduated and is now preparing for the show of a lifetime.
Down a gravel driveway on Little Camp Creek Way outside of Manhattan and beyond a couple of handmade signs, there is a drive-in theatre that Porter Blanchard built out in his pasture.
Now Porter’s drive-in has caught the attention of a country music legend.
“It’s just beyond your dreams,” Blanchard says. “I never thought that we’d have a virtual live Garth Brooks right there.”
Porter’s idea started small, after COVID-19 dashed thoughts of going to the movies with friends.
“The audiences have been picking up a little bit, thankfully,” Blanchard says. “Almost 40 cars at a time.”
Porter’s mother, Keeley, says the story of the theater caught the attention of someone in the audience.
“A friend came to the drive-in,” Blanchard says. “They kind of had a few connections from them to Garth Brooks.”
Talk about connections.
“After they heard that Garth Brooks was kind of doing a live virtual thing, they kind of talked to their people,” Blanchard says.
Now Porter is thinking about bringing bathrooms, possibly a food venue.
Because the contract is real: a virtual Garth Brooks concert is happening in his backyard.
“This is the first time this has ever happened, like, the first live virtual concert at a drive-in theatre,” Blanchard says. “It’s probably one of the last times it’s going to happen.”
In place of Porter’s 22-foot canvas, a crew of six from Garth Brooks’ team will help set up a 40-foot movie screen while running the gates and security.
Now Porter’s pasture is one of 300 drive-ins, nationwide, to hold the virtual concert.
“We’re going to have to make it so the stand and the projector is a little bigger so that way, more people can fit in the Pasture,” Blanchard says.
It’s a big way to grow but, when you think about it, that’s what things in pastures do.
Porter says he couldn’t have done it without the help of many others.
“A lot of friends, family, divine intervention,” Blanchard says. “It definitely wasn’t done alone.”
Tickets for the Garth Brooks concert at “The Pasture” will go on sale this Friday on TicketMaster and will be $100 per car, not per person.
The concert itself is set for June 27.