Home Media Live Nation launches drive-in concert tour amid coronavirus lockdowns

Live Nation launches drive-in concert tour amid coronavirus lockdowns

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Live Nation announced a drive-in concert series for July as coronavirus lockdowns have canceled arena shows and music festivals nationwide this summer.

The LA-based promoter said Monday it will launch “Live from the Drive-In,” a set of nine shows headlined by country singer Brad Paisley to take place July 10-12 in Nashville, Tenn.; Maryland Heights, Mo.; and Noblesville, Ind.

Concertgoers will be able to drive into the parking lots of the amphitheaters — a maximum of four people per car — and will have two empty parking-lot spaces in between each vehicle so fans can watch and party from their designated individual tailgating zones, Live Nation said.

Paisley will headline shows in all three cities, while fellow country artists Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi will also perform in Nashville at Nissan Stadium. Pardi and rock band Yacht Rock Revue will headline at the Ruoff Music Center near Indianapolis.

The drive-in shows come months into a lockdown that has seen concerts and festivals like SXSW and Coachella canceled globally due to the coronavirus.  In March, Live Nation canceled all of its tours, including those from Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Madonna and Cher.

“I wanted to make sure, if we were going to do anything like this, that they had the important stuff worked out,” Paisley said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday. “My goal would be not to spread this virus to one person. There should be no spread from this. That’s key. I just don’t think it’s worth doing shows if we’re putting people at risk.”

“The idea that we’re outdoors is a great thing,” Paisley added. “I just think it’s a fun way to watch a concert anyway. It’d be fun if there wasn’t a virus.”

Meanwhile, pop star Nelly, who is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his debut album “Country Grammar,” and Pink Floyd tribute band El Monstero will perform at The Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, outside of St. Louis.

Attendees can bring food, drinks and chairs, setting up around their cars to view the performers from the stage and also from the large LED screens. Masks are required for all venue staff and Live Nation requests that concertgoers also wear masks upon arrival, where there will be contact-less ticket scanning through their windows. Masks and gloves are not required once fans are in their designated tailgate areas, however.

The move echoes what movie theaters are doing; over the last few months, drive-in theaters have reopened, and next month, the majority of the nation’s cinemas will reopen and instill similar safety guidelines.

Tom See, president of Live Nation Venues-US Concerts, said his company spent months meeting with local officials “just talking about how we can provide a great, comfortable experience to fans with social distancing at the forefront.”

For the Missouri show, See estimated there’s capacity to fit 1,000 cars while incorporating social distancing guidelines. Grills and BBQ pits are not permitted, but concertgoers can bring pre-cooked food and drinks, including alcohol. Live Nation encourages groups to assign a designated driver.

A menu of hot food items and nonalcoholic will be available for purchase, Live Nation said. People can place orders online and the items will be delivered to their designated tailgate zone.

Fans will only be able to leave their pods to access single restrooms, which See noted will be cleaned regularly throughout the show.

“They don’t have to walk too far to be able to use the facility,” he said. “The traditional drive-in, I get it, you’re stuck in your car, and you’re going to get it through an FM transmitter. That’s not happening with these shows,” See said.

“We’re giving you what’s about the size of a double-car garage to where you’re going to be able to park your car, get out of your car, and have a great tailgating hang for you and your friends, and listen to music through proper professional PA and amazing audio and video display. It’s really a different aspect of drive-in and live. It’s highly experiential.”

Tickets will go on sale for the general public on Friday. Ticket prices will fluctuate by market, but they can be as low as $125, which is roughly $31 per person if the maximum number of four attendees per car attend, the company said.

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