Drive-ins are really having a moment right now.
As the entire live event industry has largely been at a standstill due to lockdowns meant to slow the spread of coronavirus, the old tradition of loading up into your car and parking in a lot full of your fellow citizens for an evening of entertainment has increasingly been revived across the country.
In the St. Louis area, a pop-up drive-in movie theater whose exact location has yet to be announced is planned for July
. Additionally, the parking lot of the former St. Louis Mills mall has been transformed with a $300,000 stage setup
, and has played host to a slew of local acts and classic movies
over the past month. And of course, Belleville's Skyview Drive-In has been hopping
Now, one of the nation's largest live entertainment companies is throwing its hat into the ring.
Live Nation announced this week that the company would be rolling out a three-day drive-in series in three cities, with St. Louis being one of them. Country singer Brad Paisley will perform here as well as in Nashville and Noblesville, Indiana. St. Louis will also see performances by popular local Pink Floyd tribute act El Monstero and Nelly, celebrating the twentieth anniversary of his breakout album Country Grammar.
Those shows are slated for July 10, 11 and 12, respectively, and will take place in the parking lot of the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. In an interview with the Associated Press
, Tom See, president of Live Nation Venues-US Concerts, says that the company spent months working out a way to throw live shows in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We're really dialed in with partnerships with [the] local jurisdictions [and] we've been meeting with them for months, just talking about how we can provide a great, comfortable experience to fans with social distancing at the forefront in whatever phase they're about to enter," See says. "Because of those relationships and that communication going back and forth, we've been successful in getting that green light."
Admission to the shows will be charged by the car, and up to four people can be in each car. Vehicles will be separated by empty parking spaces in order to encourage social distancing, and concertgoers can bring their own chairs, food and drinks — alcoholic or otherwise — to make for more of a tailgating experience (though, notably, barbecue grills will not be permitted).
In addition to the stage, there will be large LED screens displaying the concert. And those who would prefer to purchase food and beverages at the event will have the option to do so through an online menu, with orders delivered to your designated parking space.
Venue staff will be required to wear masks; attendees will be asked to do so when interacting with staff upon arrival and when walking to the restrooms, which will be cleaned regularly. Masks are otherwise not required (though, of course, wearing them would be a good idea).
According to See, the parking lot of Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre has a capacity of 1,000 cars when social distancing measures are in place. Tickets will go on sale Friday, June 26 at 10 a.m. Though prices have yet to be announced and will vary by market, See says they can be as low as $125 per car, which would come out to about $31 per person for a vehicle holding four people.
Regardless of the exact ticket prices, See believes fans will get their money's worth from the shows.
"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," See says. "It's really a different aspect of drive-in and live. It's highly experiential."
For tickets and more information, visit livenation.com/drivein
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