- 21 Jul 20
It's a hammer-blow for the Irish concert industry as it looked to get up and running again
The very sad news this afternoon is that the Live At The Drive-In series of concerts "can no longer proceed due to government guidelines."
The series was due to kick-off this Friday with Gavin James playing matinee and evening sell-outs at The Greenpark Site in Limerick with local heroes Hermitage Green also selling-out there the following night.
Also pulled are Gavin James at Cork Showgrounds (July 31); Hermitage Green @ Cork Showgrounds (August 1); Gavin James @ Tramore Racecourse (August 7); Gavin James @ Gowran Racecourse, Kilkenny (August 10); and Hermitage Green @ Gowran Racecourse, Kilkenny (12). Aslan had also been down to play Live At The Drive-In gigs but were forced to pull out in early July for unrelated reasons.
"It sucks," rues Gavin in a video message to fans that you can watch below. "Many months of work has been put into these gigs getting the crews and the security back out doing what they do. It's sad it's not happening. You can get your refunds back from where you purchased the tickets. Also on Friday, I'll be doing a show from my house and I'll be trying to raise some money for the crews. Anyway, I hope you're all keeping safe and wearing your masks and hopefully we can get back to normal soon."
In an official statement, promoters MPI and 360 Events say: "We have looked at all options and have sought out support and advice from several Government offices and officials, unfortunately with continuing changes with COVID procedures we can not confirm any alternate dates.
"After months of work and planning to try to bring some live music back to Ireland this summer. we are all devastated, full refunds are available at your point of purchase.
We are very disappointed with this decision, the live music, arts and events sector is on its knees, we would appeal to the government to support this sector and all of its workers and suppliers.
"Apologies to everyone who has purchased tickets, we know it’s a difficult time for everyone."
Designed as a stop-gap until regular gigging can start again, each of the Live At The Drive-In shows had room for between 200-250 cars containing four people who, other than for socially distanced use of the toilets, would have to remained in the vehicle and listened to the show on their phones or FM radios.
Hot Press is aware of several other promoters who were also looking to adopt the format, but sadly it no longer looks like a realistic option despite proving successful in the US and a number of European countries including Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Latvia.
Commenting on the news, Indiependence promoter Shane Dunne asks: "Who is making these decisions? Full contact sport is ok; full flights are ok; special dispensation on numbers for religious buildings are ok; drive-in cinemas are ok; super pubs are ok with hundreds indoors if (eating) €9 of food, but a drive in gig isn’t? Absolutely ridiculous."
Adds Gav fan Billy Treacy: "I was in Malahide yesterday and they had drive-in movies. What’s the difference?"
Drive in shows x pic.twitter.com/VSkKOeli8R
— Gavin James (@gavinjames) July 21, 2020
@gavinjames is one of the good guys in an industry on it’s knees. Very hard to see travel rules being abused & crowds gathering & yet something he and his management and crew tried to get off the ground in a safe way and giving people work can’t happen....well done for trying!! https://t.co/HqKmAmLqba
— caroline henry (@cazhenry) July 21, 2020
Gav James just had to cancel his Drive In shows. Another sad blow for the live industry. It's not much in the grand scheme but I'd like to donate my €1000 fee for hosting #SongsFromAnEmptyRoom to the Assoc of Irish Stage Technicians & @MindingCreative Minds. Every little etc x https://t.co/elYVgdBdkd
— Eoghan McDermott (@eoghanmcdermo) July 21, 2020