This weekend, some friends, Dave, and I road tripped to Illinois to watch Andrew McMahon’s Drive-In Through A Dream show, to celebrate Everything In Transit’s 15 year anniversary. After the year 2020 has shaped up to be, and countless canceled plans/shows/concerts, I was SO excited when I heard Duff Entertainment was planning a series of drive-in concerts, called Live From The Lot.
According to the Duff Entertainment Website, “LIVE FROM THE LOT is designed to give music fans the live show experience, while still maintaining social distancing. Think concert meets drive-in movie.” And that is exactly what it was!
I had never been to a drive-in concert – in fact, I haven’t ever been to a drive-in movie. I wasn’t sure what to expect at a drive-in concert, but it turned out to be one of the best shows I have ever attended!
I just really want to stress the fact that, yes, 2020 sucks, but FUN IS NOT CANCELED, guys!!!
Buying tickets was a little confusing at first, but once we figured it out, it was actually much cheaper than a “regular” concert ticket. 1 ticket covered admission for 1 car, and you could have up to 6 people in the vehicle. They did note that it could not be an RV or anything like that.
The concert was held in the parking lot of a baseball stadium. It was divided into VIP and General Admission. VIP tickets were 100% worth it in my opinion. $400 split 4 ways put us at $100 per person for up front parking (if we had had the full 6 people, it would have been even less!), VIP also had 3x the bathrooms as GA, so this is definitely the time to “splurge” on VIP ????
Your ticket was not for an assigned space, it was for a section (VIP or GA), and it was first come, first serve in each section.
^ You can see where the lines were spray painted on the asphalt, which separated groups of people, to help maintain social distancing!
What To Expect at a Drive-In
We were able to enter the parking lot an hour before the opening act took place. They checked the vehicle for booze upon entry. We were directed where to park. It appeared they were putting SUVs and trucks on the outside, and trying to keep sedans in the middle (because of height, and to allow for better viewing, I assumed).
We were directed on where and how to park. They were VERY specific, and did make David adjust the car, but we appreciated that, as it was in an effort to keep people evenly spaced! The ground was spray painted with our row and spot. We had the parking spot to the left of our car to set up chairs, which was about 10ft. They do not allow large umbrellas, grills, yard games, etc. However, we did not have to stay inside the car the entire time! We were able to freely walk around in our space, sit, or dance!
Pro tip: blankets, pillows, and twinkle lights pair well with a drive-in concert!
It was raining, so we did end up staying in the Jeep. We had backed into the spot, and left the hatchback up, and just watched the show from inside. You can shop the battery-operated twinkle lights we used here.
The concert was run VERY smoothly. Duff Entertainment had a number set up, that would text you a link to a LinkTree landing page.
Here, you could order drinks, food, and concert mech – the coolest part? They delivered it right to our car! There was a $2 service fee added to orders, and drinks were typical “event-prices”, but to not have to walk across a cold, wet parking lot in the dark? Priceless.
When it came to Illinois state laws for events held in 2020, none of us were sure what to expect at a drive-in, but safety was an obvious priority at the venue. There were dozens of security guards walking through the rows, reminding people to wear masks, but they were never un-friendly about it – just a few cheerful reminders.
We did not have to wear our mask if we were inside our vehicle, but to stand in our extra parking spot, we were required to wear one. Another thing to note: when we entered the parking lot, and showed our mobile ticket at the gate, the driver of our vehicle was required to wear a mask.
The 10 foot buffer zone made social distancing very easy between groups of people. The texting service for food, drinks, and band merch cut down on the amount of people standing in lines, and there were multiple sanitization stations set up.
They did a great job on cutting down “opportunities” for people to come into contact with each other, and I felt safe the entire time.
Honestly, this was a favorite concert for me. I didn’t know what to expect at a drive-in concert, but I loved having my own space, and not worrying about being stepped on, bumped into, or spilled on. We had a great view of the stage, had plenty of room to sit, lay, or dance. Overall, I was warm and dry, and even took my boots off (inside the Jeep!)
I didn’t have to stand in line for hours to use the bathroom, and I didn’t have to walk over for snacks or drinks. The ambience of the rain actually made it all seem very cozy.
Would I attend another Drive-In concert? Absolutely!