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Weather, virus could make for an unpredictable fall

After a very warm and pretty dry summer, some people may have forgotten — we live in northeast Ohio.

Fall is 10 days away. We’re approaching that time of year when the highs could be in the 70s … or the 50s. And no matter how warm it gets during the day, the temperatures can plummet once the sun goes down.

It’s just one more obstacle promoters have to worry about as they try to take advantage of the shrinking window for outdoor events as the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide restrictions make indoor entertainment both risky and economically unfeasible.

The forecast over the next three days couldn’t be better for Southern Park Mall in Boardman, which is using its parking lot for drive-in concerts featuring RDNA and No Funk No Justice tonight, Chris Higbee and Northern Whiskey on Friday and The Vindys, Leann Binder and Rajma and Friends on Saturday. JD Eicher’s free show Friday night at Canfield Presbyterian Church (collecting donations for the church’s Operation Blessing food pantry) also will benefit from that forecast.

But how long will it last?

I have vivid memories of September concerts at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pa. — David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails in 1995, Fleetwood Mac in 1997 — where it was cold enough that I could see my breath while sitting in the pavilion.

Those concerts happened earlier in the season than two of the three shows announced last week for the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre. Skyway Drive-In in Warren Township has concerts Sept. 17 with contemporary Christian acts Zach Williams and Big Daddy Weave and a Sept. 20 matinee show featuring Tropidelic and Spirit of the Bear.

The extended forecast for both of those shows is encouraging. Then again, the forecast last Thursday said Labor Day would be sunny and dry. It’s that time of year when we may leave the house in shorts, but we’re also carrying a hoodie and an umbrella just in case.

It will be interesting to see how far promoters try to push the envelope for outdoor events. Tickets go on sale today through Ticketmaster for a concert by country star Kane Brown that will be broadcast to drive-in theaters nationwide, include Elm Road Drive-In in Warren, on Sept. 26.

JAC’s concerts at the Youngstown amp go until Oct 3, and downtown Youngstown’s outdoor movie series at Wean Park extends until Oct. 11. By that time, it won’t just be the creepy and kooky characters in “Addams Family Values” giving viewers the shivers.

In 2012 Sunrise Entertainment tried to do an October concert at the Warren Community Amphitheatre. It was a one-year experiment that never was tried again.

After five months where the concert industry was shut down, both promoters and performers could use a break. Maybe the weather will cooperate, and folks can spend fall enjoying their pumpkin spice lattes and live music.

Andy Gray is the entertainment editor of Ticket. Write to him at agray@tribtoday.com.

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