Drive-in movie theatres have always been a beloved American pastime to experience a favorite movie when the warm summer months hit. However, the resurgence of drive in movie theatres hasn’t necessarily solely been for the movie watching experience. Artists such as Chelsea Cutler, Quinn XCII, The Beach Boys, Keith Urban, and many more, have utilized drive-in movie theatres to hold concerts safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Forbes, in several states such as; “Nebraska, Wisconsin, Washington, North Carolina, Illinois, and West Virginia, drive-ins are popping up like daisies.” Most artists are performing live in person, while many others are pre-recording their concerts. For many artists, drive-in concerts have become the highest attendance for them, one example of this being with Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Metallica, who all had pre-recorded drive-in concerts. The Wisconsin News Channel Ten reported that “other than his show in Times Square in the 90s, he’s (Garth Brooks) never had 350,000 people show in concert before, making it a massive success. Same with Blake Shelton and Metallica.” These drive-in movie concerts have helped to offer people a taste of what it was like to attend concerts pre-covid, minus the huge mosh pit of course.
However, these drive-in concerts have also received some backlash. This is mainly due to The Chainsmokers live drive-in concert that was held in the Hamptons in late July. CNN reported that the main issues with this concert was that there was “…thousands of people in close proximity, out of their vehicles, a VIP area where there was no pretense of a vehicle, and generally not adhering to social distancing guidelines.” The security that had been there had hardly been enforcing the social distancing guidelines, mainly due to that hundreds of individuals were in attendance, and thus, resulting in the concert being difficult to manage. Despite this, several artists who have performed live drive-in movie concerts have had no issue. One example of this is with Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII, who are currently performing together. They recently had live drive-in concerts in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio. The drive-in concerts were unbelievably popular and received much attention, so much so, that they will be holding another drive in concert on October 23rd and 24th, in Chicago, Illinois. They had very strict protocols in place, such as having to stay in one’s car unless going to the bathroom or sitting in the trunk of their car, as well as the requirement of social distancing and wearing masks, with strict security in place.
Another popular platform that artists have been utilizing in order to offer some type of semblance to a concert experience, has been live streams. These live streams have typically been through social media, such as House Party, Youtube, Livexlive, Instagram, and many artists’ individual websites. Several artists have turned to this tool, such as;Billie Eilish, Avril Lavigne, Machine Gun Kelly, and many others. Even the Metropolitan Opera House has turned to live streaming. Many of these live-streams are free of charge, while many, especially for bigger artists, are charging a small fee. According to the NY Times, in order to help promote these live streams, artists have turned to various methods, one example being with Brad Paisley. He helped to turn his live-stream into more of a pre-covid ambiance by performing “…his full stage show at the Steel Mill, a rehearsal space outside Nashville.” Another technique that artists and large live-streaming companies have turned to, has been hosting live-stream musical festivals. These have gained much attraction as music festivals have been a long loving tradition of many individuals. Although live-streaming and drive-in concerts are not ideal for those who are avid concert and music festival goers, this has become our new normal for the time being. If you’re itching to see your favorite artist in concert, a live-stream and/or drive in movie concert is probably your best bet!