Live music is coming back! Kind of. In the latest attempt to make socially-distant concerts something more than an oxymoron, Live Nation has announced their first ever U.S. drive-in concert series, “Live From the Drive-In,” bringing mass-appeal names like Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi and Nelly to the parking lots of major venues across St. Louis, Nashville and Indianapolis from July 10-12.
The events are billed as “a live music tailgating experience unlike any other,” with each concert-goer receiving a designated nine by 18 foot tailgating area next to the car required for entry. A maximum of four people are allowed per car/tailgating area as demonstrated in this photo, which looks ripped from the concept art of a particularly dystopian Kraftwerk video.
According to the event guidelines, venue staff will be required to wear masks while concert-goers will not. However, Live Nation strongly recommends their use for guests’ interactions outside of designated tailgating zones, including scanning contactless tickets by the entrance, receiving any food orders (which are delivered to cars by venue staff) and using the bathroom.
Drive-in concerts have been a growing phenomenon as traditional venues remain empty while the music industry looks for a way to function within social-distancing guidelines. According to Rolling Stone, the revenue generated by these types of shows pales in comparison to what a normal concert could net, partially from the obvious crowd limitations that social-distancing introduces, and from the increased difficulty of selling food, beverages and merchandise.
Additionally, this move from Live Nation comes as the latest in a series of drastic policy changes from the entertainment juggernaut. According to Variety, Live Nation changed its standard concert and festival policies for 2021 to shift significant financial risk from promoters to artists in the event that concerts face cancelation, whether due to poor ticket sales, an artist’s breach of contract or a pandemic situation happening again.