CONCERTS IN THE CAR: DRIVE-THRU RAVES IN THE AGE OF COVID-19


In the newfound era of life in a global pandemic where the abnormal lack of human interaction and communal experience has sent shockwaves through the live music scene, the ways in which people see and consume live music has been turned upside down. With stay-at-home orders in place across the globe during the initial hit of the COVID-19 virus, people were forced to stay inside their homes and thousands of businesses and venues were required to close up shop until further notice.


Worldwide, the live music industry had come to a complete halt and it seemed that festivals and concerts had quickly become a thing of the past. That was, until the creative team behind Germany’s largest electronic music festival, BigCityBeats World Club Dome, brought forth the concept of throwing the festival in the parking lot of the Autokino Düsseldorf Drive-In Cinema Stadium and started the new wave of drive-thru raves.


With hundreds of excited festival-goers in attendance from the safety and comfort of their cars, all the attendees had to do was tune into an FM radio station that broadcasted sets from artists like Plastikfunk and Tiefblau, and enjoy the audiovisual spectacular of music, fireworks, and pyrotechnic special effects. With the success of Germany’s drive-thru festival experience, it has created a domino effect in the states, as American EDM promoters and creative teams have begun to implement similar concepts around the country.


Pasquale Rotella. the founder and lead creative director of Insomniac Events debuted his 2021 drive-thru rave experience called Electric Mile that takes the attendee on an hour-long adventure featuring over five-hundred art installations, laser shows, and over five million lights for the attendees’ viewing pleasures.


Drawing inspiration from the early 90’s raving tradition of dialing in to obtain the address of the show, the Insomniac team went to social media and had their followers call into ‘844-5-RAVE-ON’ which took them to an audio recording from Rotella, describing the Electric Mile experience. With seven unique audio visual installations that showcase various eras of the rave culture-with a curated playlist from Rotella himself-the Electric Mile experience aims to provide attendees with a raving experience that they will be sure to remember...and they don’t even have to get out of the car to do it.