Drive-in concerts bring the feeling of live music

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With the pandemic shutting down all large gatherings enjoying music live and in concert has been nearly impossible. Recently, artists Chelsea Cutler and QuinnXCII managed to return to the stage, playing two drive-in concerts successfully in September and adding two more shows in Chicago from Oct. 23-24.

Performing music live is a sentimental experience for artists and a more intimate place to connect their art with their fans. Chelsea Cutler and QuinnXCII created an unlikely venue to perform while maintaining social distancing standards. As a result of Covid-19, drive-in movie theaters have regained popularity since people can watch movies in the comfort of their car while staying socially distant, keeping movie-goers safe.

Chelsea Cutler and QuinnXCII posted rules before the show for their fans to follow. Attendees had to wear a mask if they left their vehicle for any reason but did not have to wear masks when in cars or the bed of their trucks. 

Trevor Manning, senior mechanical engineering major, is in a band called The Guest Room. He said his band has been collaborating with other artists remotely and misses performing music for crowds.

“I love the energy of playing in front of an audience, especially when playing our originals,” Manning said. “I get hyped when I see people dancing and having a good time at our shows. It is really the best feeling and I look forward to playing in live venues again.”

Not only do artists miss performing live, but fans also miss seeing their favorite artists create an entertaining atmosphere.

Carli Domino, junior nursing major and avid concert-goer, said live concerts help fans escape and she hopes Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII play a drive-in show in Los Angeles.

“My favorite part about seeing an artist perform live is the atmosphere,” Domino said. “It’s really cool to see someone do what they love and hear the passion in their voice. It’s also fun being around others who share the same interest in the artist and have an equal amount of energy. Everyone’s just vibing out and I love it.”

Lance Beaumont, associate professor of music, said he believes artists are utilizing social media to perform live. 

“There are many reasons why artists want and need to perform for an audience,” Beaumont said. “One is simply that is what artists do—share their music with people. Performing music to an audience is what every artist dreams of.”

“Secondly, artists make little money from music streaming platforms. Most make their money off of live performances, ticket sales, and not via Spotify or Apple Music. So, there are self-preservation motives to artists performing live, even in drive-in concerts.”

The future of concerts could look different for artists and fans as the pandemic prohibits large crowds interaction within six feet, but artists could follow in the footsteps of Chelsea Cutler and Quinn XCII and perform at drive-ins. 

If artists desire to perform live music in front of a crowd again, they no longer need to perform in front of their phone screens, they just need to change their concert venue.

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