Drive-in Concerts Could Be the Solution to Live Music During Coronavirus Pandemic
A Danish artist's recent "drive-in" concert offers a blueprint for what live music could look like during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The sold-out event left both the attending fans and the police watching over the event pleased, according to reports.
According to Forbes, singer-songwriter Mads Langer recently performed to a crowd of 500 people from a newly built stage outside the Danish city of Aarhus. As at a drive-in movie theater, attendees listened to Langer's set via FM radio; they were also able to interact with him via Zoom. Tickets for the event, announced just six days ahead of time, quickly sold out.
Jyllands-Posten, a local newspaper, reports that the show ran smoothly, with fans behaving themselves and adhering to safety protocol. Christian Friis of the Østjyllands Police described the event as "controlled."
"There are only positive messages from our people on the spot," he explains. "People have behaved the way they should, and all the cars were out of place within half an hour."
Aarhus' new venue is now operating as both a drive-in movie theater and drive-in concert venue, with more shows planned.
Though attendance at Langer's show was capped at a lower capacity than superstar artists are used to packing into arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums, similar venues already exist in the United States: There are around 300 drive-in movie theaters in operation across the U.S., per DriveInMovie.com, and other drive-in venues could be assembled in large fields or parking lots.
Should Aarhus' model for drive-in concerts be adopted elsewhere, it would likely be a welcome option for music fans, who have seen hundreds of shows and festivals postponed or canceled for the year. Mass gatherings, such as concerts, are still banned throughout the U.S., and until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, they will remain risky endeavors, a fact that, per a recent survey, may keep many fans from attending shows even if they return before a vaccine is produced.
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