The impetus for drive-in events seems to picking up momentum, as promoters look for new ways to keep the live music industry alive, amidst the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dubai’s, VOX Cinema’s recently announced a drive-in movie theatre on the rooftop of the Mall of the Emirates. With a capacity of 75 cars, movies fans can watch the latest Hollywood films from inside their vehicles.
Now it seems, despite restrictions on large gatherings, live music could make a return sooner than hoped thanks to a new startup working with authorities to host drive-in concerts.
Like the live streaming boom, drive-in concerts are already catching on in other territories. One of the pandemic’s first took place in mid-March, in the car park of a Los Angeles supermarket.
Keith Urban also performed a surprise show for medical workers last Thursday night for some 125 vehicles just outside of Nashville, giving more credence to the concept.
In its simplest form, the experience is a drive-in theatre, where patrons enjoy gigs from the comfort and safety of their own car, with audio being broadcasted by an FM radio signal.
The business behind the ambitious plan is Drive-In Entertainment Australia, who are preparing to trial the park and play concerts, for up to 600 people, as soon as this week.
To showcase how the COVID-safe live performances will work, Casey Donovan will play a free concert for Sydney live music fans this Thursday.
The business has partnered with councils and will launch with at least eight locations across NSW and Victoria during phase one, with other states to “potentially” follow.
Performances will have the added potential of being live-streamed to the cars via video conferencing, allowing the audience to interact with artists in real-time.
Almost every moment, apart from toilet breaks, unfolds within the confines of a vehicle.
Organisers said the drive-in hubs will be available for any artist, agent or manager to book live acts, musical theatre, comedians, ballet and even orchestras.
“We like most people in the entertainment industry, we were left devastated when our gigs evaporated overnight,” said Samwise Holmes, director at Drive-In.
“Rather than let it defeat us, we sought to innovate,” he added. “Entertainment is what keeps the light on in times like this.”
The initiative will be in full compliance with each state’s public health acts, according to an announcement from Drive-In today, with all ticketing to be completely contactless.
“Even if stage three restrictions are realised in July, Australians will still only be allowed to congregate with groups of up to 100 people,” said Holmes.
“With the drive-in hubs, performers will have the ability to entertain up to 300 cars. And that’s a lot of people having a great night out – safely!”
Could we see drive-in concerts coming to Dubai…