For all indoor venues, the Spring/Summer season of outdoor entertainment and live performances has been put firmly on hold. Though the government’s £1.57 billion emergency support package will help to ensure many organisation’s future, there are still stages across the country whose curtains will remain closed throughout the summer.
We know the arts and creative industries are always innovating and thinking of great new ideas. That’s why, for audiences and entertainment lovers, there’s still plenty to look forward to…
ENO Drive & Live is hosting a live (and socially distanced) performance of La Bohème at Alexandra Palace, though for this special performance audience members will watch the show from their cars and tune in via Bluetooth speakers.
The creative team being Pub in the Park have announced a new Drive and Dine Theatre experience, with tour locations across the country. The shows include a live comedy show tour, movie screenings and food available from an exclusive menu developed by Michelin-starred Chef Tom Kerridge.
Classic cinema screenings
Outdoor screening stalwarts such as Luna Cinema are touring the UK providing outdoor screenings of classic films. Those who’ve previously enjoyed this type of entertainment can join their friends and family in a great outdoor entertainment experience. Several other companies, such as The Drive In have also planned an extensive programme of drive-in cinema experiences.
Even horse racing has come to the big screen this summer! The Fitzdares Drive-in Derby allowed keen horse racing fans to enjoy the races within the comfort of their cars.
Companies such as The Drive In are hosting live talks from inspirational greats like Sir Ranulph Fiennes, giving those craving live entertainment a great alternative to visiting the theatre. As individuals are able to perform monologues and talks without the potential dangers of being too close to others, this is a fantastic route for drive in companies or temporary venues first venturing into the world of live outdoor entertainment.
And there’s comedy shows too! The Drive In Club is purely London-based for now, but boasts an impressive line-up of live comedy shows, family-friendly entertainment and film screenings. If this goes well, hopefully similar events will happen across the country too.
Outdoor theatres are now able to begin scheduling performances. Seasoned outdoor theatres, or outdoor spaces transformed into performance areas, have been given the go-ahead to produce live entertainment once more – fantastic news for venues such as the Minack theatre, and other establishments where outdoor entertainment forms their bread and butter over the summer season.
Car parks, public green spaces and National Trust parks could all provide great venues for temporary theatres. This would allow ample space for adequate social distancing though, as with all open-air theatre, these performances are often weather dependent.
It’s certainly exciting to see how theatres and other organisations with land available will respond to the latest lockdown lifting. We expect directors, producers and artists to be heavily involved in creating a range of exceptional outdoor theatre this summer to bring in additional revenue and inspire audiences.
Outdoor and drive in live entertainment across the world
Live music concerts, theatre, cinema screenings and comedy showcases are happening across the world as entertainers find new ways to reach lockdown audiences.
One of our own customers, NIGHTOUT, is taking bookings for innovative new live events. This includes a drive in comedy tour presented by HOTBOX. We’re so proud to see customers embrace new ideas and find ways to reach audiences despite so many restrictions.
The impact on experience
We hear that, in leu of applause, cars are beeping their horns and flashing their lights. Though this can never make up for the wonderful feeling of being surrounded by a standing ovation, drive-in or outdoor experiences will surely offer a glimmer of hope to the industry and its audiences.
Though pre-recorded screens still provide an exciting experience, it’s great to see more live shows on this summer’s programme – particularly the return of open air theatre. We’ve all missed the chance to see live entertainment and, even though the experience isn’t quite the same, enjoying shows from our cars or surrounded by others (at a one metre+ distance) is certainly the next step towards our industry opening back up again.
What shows will you see this summer? Head to our Instagram page and let us know.