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Drive-In Shows: The New Way To Watch Performances

Drive-in shows the new way to watch performances
By Michelle Sciarrotta

Social distancing has brought drive-in shows back to the world in a retro resurgence. Across the Arts, theatre companies, musicians and performers are all planning new ways to hold events while restrictions are in place, so that audiences can come and enjoy shows whilst staying safely apart.

What’s happening in the UK

Musical Theatre

West End stars Kerry Ellis, Alice Fearn and Jon Robyns will be performing live shows produced by the West End Brunch team. The shows will be taking place in London at Brent Cross Shopping Centre from 25th July until the end of August, and will work like the old drive-in cinemas with a modern twist; the visuals will be projected onto outdoor cinema screens, and the sound will be picked up on the cars’ FM radios.

You can get tickets for the West End Musical Drive In here.

Six the Musical have announced they will also be touring drive-in shows across the UK this summer, visiting Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Leeds, Bolton, Teeside, Lincoln, Cheltenham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newmarket, Birmingham and London.

Tickets are available here.

Music

Live Nation UK are launching “Utilita Live From The Drive-In” concert series this summer, visiting the same towns as Six the Musical. On the line-up are: Ash, Beverley Knight, Bjorn Again, Brainiac Live, Brand New Heavies, Camp Bestival Live, Cream Classical Ibiza, Dizzee Rascal, Embrace, Gary Numan, Jack Savoretti, Kaiser Chiefs, Lightning Seeds, Nathan Dawe, Reggae Roast Vs Gentleman’s Dub Club, Russell Watson, Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason, Sigala, Skindred, The Snuts, The Streets, The Zutons and Tony Hadley.

Other acts have also been confirmed, and you can find the full artist list information and buy tickets here.

Cinema

At The Drive In is hosting a series of broad cinema, from family films and classics such as The Lion King, Grease and Back To The Future, to Joker. These are moving around the UK chronologically and will be visiting South London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol, East London, Southampton and Brighton.

You can find the full information here.

Comedy

The Drive-In Club in London is hosting a selection of the UK’s most well-loved comedians throughout the summer, with new performances and dates being added all the time.

The full list of comedy can be found here.

The Drive-In Club is also showing film screenings of all genres, including live puppet based favourites for kids, including Basil Brush, Sooty, Rastamouse and Dick & Dom.

The full programme of everything on offer can be found here.

Other Events

For something completely different, there will be Car Park Karaoke with The Massaoke Band at Powderham Castle, Kenton & Henley-on-Thames from 4-11 July, a Drive In Rave (dates still to be announced) touring the UK, and Sir Ranulph Fiennes performing Living Dangerously at the Troubadour Meridian Water, London on 23  July.

What’s happening in the USA

Music

The USA has held some great drive-in concerts during the lockdown period, and there’s even more to come. As with the UK, Live Nation are holding the Live From the Drive-In series in St. Louis, Nashville, and Indianapolis. Confirmed acts performing at the Concerts In The Lot include Brad Paisley, Nelly, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi.

You can get tickets here.

Several artists are touring the drive-in circuit that now exists, including a 10 city tour by Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mac Powell that commences on 16th July, which can be found here while Garth Brooks is touring the USA visiting 300 drive-in theatres in total around the country. Full information and tickets can be found here.

Cinema

Tribeca Drive-in has announced an initial summer series schedule that includes films, comedy and other shows brought to LA, New York, Miami, Seattle and more.

Tickets are available from https://tribecafilm.com/drive-in

What’s happening in Australia

Thanks to Drive-In Entertainment Australia, there is a huge array of performances covering the fields of live music, comedy and theatre. There’s even an option for the audience to log into Zoom and interact with artists who can see you rocking out in your car!

The full programme has to be seen to really be appreciated, and you can check this out and get your tickets here while the main website is here.

It looks like the drive-in renaissance could be our new ‘night out’ for entertainment while mass gatherings are prohibited. Work has been underway in Jakarta in Indonesia, where a new drive-in cinema has been built for audiences to enjoy a movie without the risk of contracting Covid-19.

The drive-in movement seems like it could be the answer to staying safe while getting industry workers some ‘normal’ employment, and entertaining audiences who are able to venture out, at least in some small way, once more.

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Women’s Audio Mission: Free Online Learning Resources

Sophia Dalton: Interview with a London based Stage Manager

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