Sep 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

Drive-in events see huge uptick thanks to country music

Chart examining U.S. drive-in ticket sales.
Data: Vivid Seats; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

There's been a sharp monthly growth in drive-in concerts and events across the nation thanks to country music, according to new data from Vivid Seats. Most of the concerts are happening at drive-in theater venues.

Why it matters: The drive-in industry, once a mainstay for movies, is now catering to all types of performances, from music, to comedy to the circus, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep venues closed

Details: Drive-in concerts have been way more prevalent in genres like country, rock and folk as opposed to rap, electronic dance music and R&B.

  • There have been a few notable performances that have popularized drive-in concerts, including Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton and Metallica.
  • These performances each took place via video at drive-in theaters around the country.
  • Iliza Shlesinger's in-person comedy performances at drive-in theaters appear to have garnered unprecedented traction, as comedy clubs remain closed.

The big picture: At its peak in the 1950's, the drive-in industry had more than 4,000 theaters nationwide. Now, there are less than 400.

  • Drive-in concerts could be providing some new momentum to the drive-in industry during the pandemic.

Go deeper: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback

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