Dropkick Murphys and special guest Bruce Springsteen are livestreaming a full-length concert from an empty Fenway Park on Friday night. The first fan-free performance in the stadium, it is being broadcasted on the band’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch pages and will benefit multiple charities.
"In an almost sentimental way, Fenway for Bostonians has so much to do with summer, so bringing any kind of life to the park is a positive thing in people’s minds,” said the Boston band’s co-founder, Ken Casey, in a phone call.
To adhere to social distancing guidelines, the band members will be spread out across the diamond. Fewer than 30 crew members will handle the audio and video operations, and there will be no one in the stands.
“Fenway offers the opportunity to get the distance we need in a production kind of setting,” said Casey. “It’ll be drums at second base, banjo where the shortstop is, and singers in the infield. You could never get that kind of distance indoors.”
Though the ballpark hosts concerts every summer, the “Streaming Outta Fenway” performance will be the first time a band has played a show from the diamond. With baseball season on hold because of COVID-19, Fenway made an exception for the group.
Casey said the excitement of performing on the field will make up for the absence of live fans.
“We’re playing on the field, on the grass,” he said. “So we’re going to be like kids in a candy store out there. I think there’ll be ear-to-ear grins even though there’s no fans.”
Dropkick Murphys hopes to outdo the showing for its March livestream performance, which came together quickly after the band canceled its St. Patrick’s Day shows just as restrictions on public gatherings were initiated. The livestream got more than 10 million views and $60,000 in donations.
The May 29 online concert, sponsored by the Boston tech company Pega, will raise money for the Boston Resiliency Fund, Feeding America, and Habitat For Humanity, and more.
“That performance was put together at the last minute,” Casey said of the St. Patrick’s Day show. “This one has a far greater fund-raising component and, you could say, even greater need.”