Live Nation to hold US drive-in concert series

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New York (AFP)

Major concert promoter Live Nation on Monday announced its first drive-in summer concert series to come after months of cancelled events due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Country artists Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker will be among the artists headlining along with rapper and singer Nelly, who will perform a 20th anniversary celebration of his hit album "Country Grammar."

The weekend of shows will see performances in and near the cities of St. Louis, Nashville and Indianapolis.

Live Nation said attendees would be allowed to bring in their own chairs, food and drinks to enjoy from parking lots set up in front of stages.

All automobiles must be parked within a designated space to ensure social distancing between concert-goers, the music company said.

"Around the world, we're seeing a real eagerness from our fans and artists to safely get back to the concert experience," said Tom See, Live Nation's head of venues and US concerts, in a statement announcing the shows.

He called July's line-up a "completely unique outdoor concert series that will allow fans to enjoy live shows again, while socially distanced."

A maximum of four tickets will be available per car to keep the event at limited capacity.

Live Nation did not respond to a query on car capacity for the events, but See told Billboard that 1,000 vehicles could fit at the St. Louis show.

"Man, I've missed playing music! Time to change that. Excited to hit the stage," tweeted Rucker, a solo artist and lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of 1990s-era rockers Hootie & the Blowfish, who is set to play in Nashville.

The coronavirus pandemic left the entertainment industry scrambling to find ways to hold live concerts as millions around the world were told to stay home.

Most live events were postponed or scrapped through at least mid-summer as concert festivals including the mammoth Coachella event were cancelled in a bid to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Industry tracker Billboard estimates the industry could lose $10 billion to $12 billion, with thousands of venue employees, music crews and other workers furloughed or out of a job.