300 drive-in theaters to screen a one-night-only concert of Garth Brooks

Country music superstar Garth Brooks will perform a one-night-only show at 300 drive-in theaters across the United States, including one at the Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, a Route 66 landmark.

The show will be beamed to the theaters beginning at dusk on June 27. Some details weren’t known, but several drive-in theaters stated the concert would be prerecorded.

General admission tickets would be $100 per vehicle, which also would be required to conform to social distancing as part of coronavirus safeguards.

The venues used for the show won’t be known until after tickets go on sale next Friday. It would be a high percentage of drive-ins participating, as only about 320 exist in the U.S. With 300 shows, that would mean more than 90% of the total.

A Rockford, Illinois, radio station found a partial list of possible venues on the promoter’s website in Illinois and Wisconsin before it was taken down. It included the Route 66 Drive-In in Springfield, which confirmed later it would screen it.

The Admiral Twin confirmed to the Tulsa World it would screen the concert:

The concert will be screening on one side of the Admiral Twin’s giant tower screen — unless ticket sales cross a certain percentage, and then it can screen on both sides, said Blake Smith, owner of the drive-in.
“I’m thinking people will get pretty excited about Garth, our hometown boy, and come out,” said Smith, who added that event organizers have talked about similar events “with some other very big name bands” if the Brooks concert is a success.

Brooks is an Oklahoma native and lives in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso, so interest in that region would be high.

One of the co-owners of the Sky View Drive-In in Litchfield, Illinois, talked about the Brooks show but didn’t confirm it would happen.

The Tascosa Drive-In in Amarillo, Texas, said it was gauging fan interest before committing to it.

The 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Missouri, announced it wouldn’t participate, despite it being a venue for a TobyMac/Newsboys gospel tour of drive-in theaters.

The Skyline Drive-In in Barstow, California, hasn’t mentioned it on its Facebook page.

The Today Show first announced the shows Thursday:

“I am so excited to get to play again,” Brooks noted in a press release. “I have missed it so much and want to get back to it. This drive-in concert allows us all to get back to playing live music without the uncertainty of what would be the result to us as a community. This is old school, new school, and perfect for the time we are in.” […]
“Families need safe entertainment options that they can enjoy together this summer,” Encore Live founder and CEO Walter Kinzie added. “We’re excited to partner with Garth, who’s already done so much to help the entertainment industry during these tough times, to provide a truly unique and incredible concert that will do a whole lot of good for local businesses and communities.”

Brooks remains the top-selling solo music artist of all time, with more than 150 million albums sold in the U.S. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

It’s becoming a big year for many drive-ins. Electronic dance music artist Marc Rebillet booked 12 shows at drive-ins, and county star Keith Urban held a one-off show at a drive-in in Tennessee.

Because they can enforce social distancing, drive-ins also are seeing a big upsurge in regular movie-screening business in recent months — even for oldies and indies — while regular theaters remain shut down during the pandemic.

(Image of Garth Brooks in concert in 2015 by fatherspoon via Flickr)

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