Must List

Are drive-in concerts the way of the future?

If I had a dollar for every time my grandparents reminisced about their high school adventures at the drive-in movie theater, I would be *incredibly* wealthy.

Drive-in movie theaters, once a quintessential staple of American culture, waned in popularity after reaching peak success in the 1950s and 1960s. As live performances have been canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, concert promoters have used the drive-in movie model as inspiration for a reimagined way to enjoy live music.

Drive-in concerts provide a socially distanced alternative to traditional performances and festivals. Functioning similarly to drive-in movie theaters, tickets are sold by the car-load, seating is often first come, first served and sound is transmitted through a combination of FM radio and venue speakers. In the age of coronavirus, attendees are asked to remain in, or on, their vehicles and must wear a mask when walking to restrooms or concessions.

As a lover of live music, I was disappointed to recieve multiple emails notifying me of the cancellation of my summer concert plans this year. I spent hours watching videos from past concerts, hoping to experience the joy I usually feel when the crowd screams the lyrics to my favorite songs. Just as I began to accept the existence of a year without live music, my friend asked me to go to a drive-in concert with her. 

Even though I was skeptical of this new concert format, I knew I *had* to check it out. On the day of the concert, we loaded our car with snacks and blankets and headed to the city to watch one of our favorite artists perform.


Although I missed the energy of a crowd, I found myself enjoying the drive-in concert just as much, if not more, than a traditional show. My friend and I did not have to wait in lines, compete for space or stand for hours. Each car was spaced six feet apart and attendees could either sit in their cars, in their trunks or on their roofs. My friend and I chose to sit on the roof of my car, and surprisingly,  I could see the stage better than I ever would have from the ground. Because we were in the same spot for the entirety of the show, it was also easier to pay attention to the specifics of the performance than it normally would be. 

While certainly not a typical concert experience, drive-in concerts have their magical moments—and they just may be here to stay. 

Have you seen a drive-in concert yet? Tag us in your music memories on social media @girlslifemag!


by Claire Hutto | 10/3/2020