An Early Look: Drive-In Experiences

Fans can’t wait to return to live. Yet with COVID-19 temporarily transforming the face of the live entertainment industry, we’ve had to collectively adapt to provide a safe alternative to the concerts we know and love.

As the world’s leading live entertainment company, Live Nation is no stranger to innovation. Spanning three cities across the country and featuring top-tier artists such as Brad Paisley, Nelly, Darius Rucker and Jon Pardi, Live Nation’s Live From The Drive-In Concert Series put a fresh spin on an American classic: concerts from the car. Here’s how it worked:

Start With Creating a Great Outdoor Experience

Featured artists took the physical stage in the amphitheater parking lots of St. Louis’ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, Nashville’s Nissan Stadium and Indianapolis’ Ruoff Music Center. Vehicles — with a maximum of four fans per car — parked in every third space, allowing attendees ample room to tailgate. From their designated sections, attendees enjoyed the concerts from a safe social distance, enhanced by strategically-placed LED screens and incredible sound from the stage with delay sound towers positioned throughout the lot. More in this promotional video from Live Nation:

 

Live Nation also encouraged fans to personalize their tailgate space with their own food, drinks, chairs and show swag. They partnered with local vendors to provide a contactless online food & beverage purchase and delivery experience for fans who desired the ease of onsite concessions. Online purchases were safely and responsibly delivered by masked event-day staff.

Map Out the Fan Experience from Discovery to Event Day

The Event Detail Page (EDP)
Live Nation ensured that the purchase process was simple and easy-to-understand with clear messaging around zoning and entry instructions. Tailgating spaces were sold to fans through a general admission EDP containing color-coded price levels.

Email & Social Media Marketing Leading Up to Event Day
Striking a balance between the thrill of live while also providing fans clarity and transparency on safety precautions was paramount to the success of the series. Through owned and artist-promoted email and social media content, Live Nation was able to reinforce that live entertainment was back and safer than ever. Post-purchase communication included the following safety instructions:

  • How to print tickets and event-day entry instructions
  • The safety precautions that onsite staff had undergone before the show, which included passing a pre-shift temperature check and health screening
  • The local ordinance on mask usage: for St. Louis and Nashville, masks were required any time an attendee exited their vehicle, while Indianapolis attendees were only required to don their masks when venturing away from their tailgating area
  • While no merch was sold onsite in support of social distancing guidelines, fans were encouraged through pre-event communications to order artist merchandise and show collectibles online. 100% of the proceeds were donated to Crew Nation — a global relief fund for live music crew

 

 

 

At The Gate & Onsite
Once onsite, incoming fans were directed to spaces within their designated color-coded zones by onsite event staff. Spaces were assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis by parking attendants who remained available to fans in all sections throughout the duration of the event for assistance. Designated contactless box office resolution areas were also set up onsite, where socially distanced staff were able to safely redeliver tickets to fans digitally with TM1 Sales for iPad.

Partner with Your Performers to Educate Fans

Building fan confidence is key to a successful, sustainable return to live and one way to connect fans with the educational content they need is to put their favorite artists front and center. Check out how Brad Paisley and the Yacht Rock Revue got fans excited for the event while reinforcing safety requirements on Facebook:

 

We’re Here to Help

Since the series’ launch, several artists are now beginning to experiment with the drive-in concert format. To map out your own drive-in concert series, start to think about your fan base and what they’re looking for as we return to live. For the latest reopening best practices, your Ticketmaster representative is here to help you build and promote a drive-in concert experience that fans will talk about for years to come.