.@LiveNation has announced its first-ever drive-in concerts series in the U.S. for July with @BradPaisley, @Nelly_Mo and @dariusrucker, months after the live music industry has been on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.https://t.co/nG0NEOgEAh
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) June 22, 2020
From the Washington Post, “Behind the scenes of a drive-in concert: ‘I’ve never been more grateful to be honked at’”:
Mike Eli, lead singer of the Eli Young Band, strummed his guitar onstage and gazed into the crowd on a warm Texas evening in June. “How many of you out there are dreamers?” he asked.
He was answered by an explosion of car horns.
“Whatever it is that you dream about,” he said, “keep on believing.”
This was not exactly how the country band envisioned their 2020 touring experience. As they started singing their Grammy-nominated hit “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” a stirring anthem about following your dreams, they looked out on a parking lot filled with people sitting in their cars as they tuned into the show via an FM radio station, just like a drive-in movie.
Summer tour season is upon us, and Americans are starting to begrudgingly accept that, amid the coronavirus pandemic, large-scale concerts won’t resume for a long time. The music industry has been forced to get creative — and besides artists hopping on Instagram for a live stream, the most popular choice for a musical performance might be drive-in concerts.
What was once an unimaginable concept makes a lot of sense in the era of social distancing. But how does it actually work? We talked to music executives, artists and fans at one show in Texas for a snapshot of what it’s like to organize, perform and attend a concert in the year 2020…
So, is it actually fun to sit in your car and watch a concert? According to the people we asked: It is! And there are added benefits to consider, such as comfortable seating and air conditioning, as well as personal control of the volume.
Kacie Miller, a teacher who goes to lots of country music concerts, attended the Eli Young Band show. She acknowledged that the “drive-in” situation lost some of the normal concert ambiance; sometimes it was hard to see the stage, and you couldn’t really sing along with the crowd. Plus, it was only one band for an hour, as opposed to multiple openers and a headliner.
But she and a friend turned off the car, rolled down the windows and basked in hearing music that wasn’t being broadcast from the Internet. Some people opened their trunks and perched on the back ledges of their car, while others climbed on the roof for a better view. Two giant screens sat on each side of the lot, so people in the back rows could see the stage…