It was only a few weeks ago that Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Murphy, tore our hearts out and stomped it flat with the announcement that it was likely we wouldn’t see any festivals until there’s a coronavirus vaccine.
While we won’t be hitting the mosh for a circle pit any time soon, it looks like we’ll still be able to indulge in a hint of live music with ‘drive-in’ concerts, where patrons enjoy gigs from the comfort and safety of their own car with audio being broadcasted by an FM radio signal.
Following the recent success of these events in Germany and the US, Australia is following this week, with its first socially distant and COVID-19 safe concert taking place in Sydney today.
Organised by Drive In Australia, the concert will see Casey Donovan – the much-loved winner of season two ‘Australian Idol’ – take to the stage at Robyn Webster Sports Centre in Sydney’s Tempe for a free “sneak peek” at what’s to come.
Up to 600 people are estimated to be able to attend, with multiple people allowed in each car in accordance with current social distancing rules.
According to Drive In Australia, there will be a couple of options when it comes to hearing the live music. The audio will be live broadcast via an FM radio signal, and there are plans to offer a similar Zoom function too. Of course, you could always wind the window too, which might feel a little more normal.
“The intimacy we all look for in live performances is still present but with a modern-day twist,” the event page states. “Performances will have the added potential of being live-streamed to the cars via Zoom, allowing the audience to interact with artists on stage in real-time. And the rapture of applause can be made bigger with car horns going off and windscreen wipers swaying in unison.”
Casey Donovan’s concert was quick to sell out, but Drive In Australia promise more gigs to come.
“With venues launching soon across NSW and VIC, the event aims to assist the mental wellbeing of the Australian community as it endures through the COVID crisis. And after the breakdown of the live entertainment industry, the project will provide relief for artists by providing performance opportunities in a safe environment.”
You can sign up to Drive In Australia’s newsletter at their website to keep up to date with future announcements.
This article originally appeared in Forte Magazine.