In another sign drive-in theaters are becoming an alternative for music tours during the coronavirus pandemic, Christian music artists TobyMac and Newsboys have booked shows at 16 drive-ins this summer, including at the 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Missouri.
The all-ages show at the 66 Drive-In will be July 11, gates opening at 6:30 p.m., and the show starting at dusk. General admission will be $100 a carload, with a maximum of six people per vehicle. Tickets are available here.
The show has these rules, in case you were wondering:
Must be prepared to show ticket to be scanned and matching photo ID upon entry through driver’s side window.
Lawn chairs or blankets are welcome but must sit inside your allocated parking space.
Please observe local social distancing guidelines for the health and well being of all fans.
No outside concessions or coolers allowed.
No recreational activities such as frisbee, baseball, or running is allowed.
No parking available for oversized vehicles (i.e. Busses, Motorhomes, etc).
Show is held RAIN OR SHINE.
The magazine got a statement from TobyMac and Newsboys’ lead singer about the tour:
“A few Saturday nights every summer my family and I head to a local drive-in movie theater. We always love it. When we started discussing live shows in this quarantine season and the idea of playing drive-ins came up, I said, ‘Let’s go.’ It feels like summer, safe for everybody, and we all get to enjoy live music again. We ’bout to make some memories.”
“COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, but through it, we have learned that love is patient and love is kind,” said Newboys United lead singer Michael Tait. (Tait used to be TobyMac’s bandmate in the seminal Christian hip-hop-pop group DC Talk before members went their separate ways.) “Now we have the opportunity to come together safely and express our love for our creator who has been with us through these trying times.”
TobyMac, who also was a member of the popular Christian rock band DC Talk, has sold more than 10 million albums during his career. Newsboys, which have been around since 1985, have six gold albums to their credit.
Electronic dance music artist Marc Rebillet also has booked 12 shows at drive-ins next month, and county star Keith Urban held a one-off show at a drive-in in Tennessee earlier this month. Live Nation also is planning drive-up shows in the parking lots of amphitheaters.
Because they can enforce social distancing, drive-ins are seeing a big upsurge in business in recent months — even for oldie films and obscure indies — while regular theaters are shut down during the pandemic.
In addition to starting up movies again a few weeks ago, the 66 Drive-In allowed area churches to use the venue for services, including Easter, in April.
According to the National Park Service, the 66 Drive-In opened Sept. 22, 1949, along Route 66 on Carthage’s west side. It closed in 1985 but reopened 13 years later.
Virtually everything at the theater from more than 70 years ago is there, including the neon marquee, playground, ticket booth, concession stand/projection booth and the 66-foot-tall screen. The 66 Drive-In was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
(Publicity image of the TobyMac Drive-In Theater Tour via its ticket site; image of the 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Missouri, by Mark Goebel via Flickr)