'Socially Distant Concerts' to Become a Prudent Step for Live Entertainment Industry Amidst Lockdown

Entertainment | May 20, 2020 | News

Live Nation The Tuning Fork, Auckland Together Again

With states starting to let businesses reopen under limitations, a new wave of socially-distant concerts are cropping up to ensure and keep the live entertainment industry afloat amidst the COVID-19 outbreak.

These include a series of drive-in concerts, concerts with few audiences, and fanless concerts.

Aarhus in Denmark was one of the first cities to set up a dedicated series of drive-in concerts, with sound broadcast through car radios. Since then, the concept has started to pop up in other countries including Lithuania, Germany, and especially in the USA, where a national network of drive-in cinemas provides readymade concert venues.

Travis McCready, Arkansas

Singer, Travis McCready, played a show in Arkansas on May 18th, 2020 with strict social-distancing practices in place. The capacity of the venue for the concert was reduced from 1,100 to 239, with audiences being seated in separated clusters. All audience members and staff wore masks and had their temperatures checked on arrival. 

DJ D-Nice, Florida

After entertaining people online with his popular DJ sets on Instagram called #ClubQuarantine, DJ D-Nice from Florida played music for first-responders in their cars at 1/ST Preakness At Home Drive-InFieldFest. The hour-long DJ set by D-Nice was hosted by The Roots on their YouTube and was exclusively for first responders at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Respecting all social distancing requirements, D-Nice’s set transmitted live via guests’ car radios. 

Together Again by Live Nation

Live Nation recently announced the launch of New Zealand’s first socially-distant concert series – ‘Together Again’ from May 29th 2020. The series will take place at Auckland’s The Tuning Fork and will feature a rotating line up of homegrown musicians, comedians, performers, and more each week.

Live Nation and Tuning Fork will also take a number of precautions, in accordance with public health and safety advice, which includes measures such as moving events outdoors, limiting attendance, spacing people out, taking temperatures of participants and staff, hand sanitizing stations and extra cleaning. 

Keith Urban, Nashville

Keith Urban, hosted his own drive-in concert last week at the Stardust Drive-In drive-in movie theatre near Nashville for about 200 health care workers packed into 125 vehicles. The Drive-In has been operating at half the normal capacity to keep cars spaced out in accordance with social-distancing guidelines, and the same held true at Urban’s gig. The night took off from doing sellout business on its two screens to lease the venue out for an hour-plus concert that featured full lights and sound — both from the FM transmitters.

Eli Young Band will be testing out the new drive-in style concert series too.

The World Health Organization has guidance and risk assessments for mass gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes measures such as:

- Entry procedures include temperature screening, contact tracing, changes to conditions of entry, and processing times entering the venue.

- Venue procedures include operating at a reduced 100-person capacity, staff wearing essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, the physical distancing of patrons, cleaning procedures, and contactless technologies.

- Drinks and snacks will be available via table service exclusively with ordering from your seat via a mobile phone or other handheld devices.

These concert series will be seen as a first tentative step out of hibernation for the live entertainment industry, which has been crushed by the weeks-long lockdown.

With states starting to let businesses reopen under limitations, a new wave of socially-distant concerts are cropping up to ensure and keep the live entertainment industry afloat amidst the COVID-19.

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