Elevated drive-in experiences
From raves and art shows to performances and gourmet dinners, the drive-in is getting a modern-day makeover to offer an eclectic mix of live entertainment
Automakers are embracing consumer demand for in-person, in-car collective events. Ahead of the 2021 launch of its Rogue Routes car, from November 2020 to January 2021 Nissan partnered with travel company Atlas Obscura on a drive-in performance series. Rogue Routes experiences took audiences to hidden gem locations where they were treated with live music, presentations by scientists, artists and innovators, drone light shows and daredevil stunts.
Nissan is not alone in refreshing the drive-in. During November 2020, Lexus hosted a three-day branded Culinary Cinema, a drive-in theatre in Los Angeles which included a three-course, gourmet meal. The events sold out, showing people’s appetite for such experiences.
Event organisers are also banking on super-charged drive-in attractions. In Germany, nightclub Club Index hosted Autodisco in spring 2020. Each of the three drive-in raves catered for 250 cars and switched the usual enthusiastic screams from the crowd with horns honking to the beat. In the summer, the UK’s Pub in the Park events series was adapted into a drive-in garden party with live music, food and convivial vibes “designed for these unusual times.”
Art exhibitions are also making necessary changes. From October 2020 to January 2021, the biennial art festival Dallas Aurora converted a 100,000 square foot parking lot into an immersive drive-through exhibition titled Area 3. In Toronto, a 35-minute drive-in art installation, Gogh by Car, showcased Vincent Van Gogh’s work with the help of light, sound and projectors inside a warehouse.
And in Paris during summer 2020, experiences extended beyond cars, when Häagen-Dazs sponsored a floating cinema on the Villette canal basin, and made 38 small boats available for hire to customers. The ice-cream brand also partnered with Openaire to deliver a floating cinema experience in London which ran for four weeks.
Why drive-in experiences are interesting
Audiences are craving in-person group experiences but equally want COVID-secure options. The car provides an obvious safe haven. By expanding the traditional drive-in movie theatre into innovative live performances, car brands and event organisers have reinvigorated the car experience entirely.
10 February 2021
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