Music and entertainment promoters Live Nation, who make large music events such as Reading and Leeds happen, have announced a special series of drive-in concerts for this summer. The concerts are taking place at 12 venues across the UK, including Birmingham’s Resorts World Arena, the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, Leeds East Airport and Cheltenham Racecourse.
The lineup boasts an impressive range of acts such as Kaiser Chiefs, Dizzee Rascal, Beverley Knight and The Streets. There are suggestions of adding acts to the lineup in the coming weeks. The likes of Little Mix, Rita Ora and Jess Glynne have been in talks to perform.
Each concert, taking place at some point between July and September, will play to an audience of about 300 cars. Concertgoers will be advised to travel to these gigs with members of their own households in their cars. They will be allowed to leave their cars to stand or sit on fold-out chairs in their designated parking ‘zones’. However, they cannot leave this designated area except to use the toilet.
The concert series marks the first return of live music since March. Even before lockdown was brought in on 23rd March, live music events were already beginning cancellations. These cancellations highlighted the impossibility of live music due to social distancing rules. Therefore, this series will provide a way for people to enjoy a missed aspect of life in a safe manner.
The concert series is also providing vital relief for musicians. Many have suffered a shortfall in their incomes without any concerts to play. Gary Numan, who is set to perform, has strongly praised the “unique and innovative idea” of drive in, socially distanced concerts.
“It’s exactly what the music business needs right now,” he said to the Daily Star’s column, Wired. “For most musicians, live performances are a big portion of your income.” He cites himself as an example; the money he makes from touring constitutes about two thirds of his income.
It’s not just the artists that these gigs will help out. Numan mentions the ‘road crew, catering [staff], lorry rivers, lighting experts [and] tour mangers’ who will benefit from the shows after being left without any work for the last few months. Live Nation is committed to providing support for crew members with its Crew Nation global relief fund, to which it has donated $10 million.
Tickets have already begun to go on sale for some of the concerts. More are set to follow in the coming days and weeks.
Words by Emma Wilkes