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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Drive-In Entertainment: Raging Waters — CANCELLED

Australia's largest drive-in concert series will see The Veronicas, DJ Dan Murphy and Arj Barker head to western Sydney.
By Samantha Teague and Cordelia Williamson
June 27, 2020
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Drive-In Entertainment: Raging Waters — CANCELLED

Australia's largest drive-in concert series will see The Veronicas, DJ Dan Murphy and Arj Barker head to western Sydney.
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UPDATE: JULY 17, 2020 — All of Drive-In Entertainment's upcoming shows at Raging Waters Sydney have been cancelled due to the NSW–VIC border closure and many artists being unable to attend the event. For more information, head to the event website.
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In mid-May, Australia had its first ever drive-in concert. It took place in Sydney's Robyn Webster Sports Centre in Tempe, with Australian Idol winner Casey Donovan as the headline act. It was free and — despite the midday time slot and the slightly off-kilter artist choice — it garnered a crowd.

Drive-In Entertainment Australia's first concert was an example of how it plans to run its (many) future events. From July, the company is taking over Raging Waters in Sydney's west for a series of live music concerts and comedy night for up to 1000 cars, with plans to launch more drive-in venues across NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Queensland in the coming months.

In Sydney, the series will kick off on Friday, July 17 with three daytime shows by The Wiggles, The Veronicas taking to the stage at 7.30pm and the night finishing with a neon 90s party by DJ Dan Murphy — yes, it'll be Australia's first drive-in nightclub.

The concerts will run until Saturday, August 1, with four-to-five concerts held every day. Expect drive-in comedy nights with Akmal Saleh and Arj Barker, Kate Ceberano and a musical-filled performance called Broadway Reimagined. If you have little ones, there'll also be plenty of family-friendly Nickelodeon shows.

So, how does it work? Much like a scene out of hit 70s film Grease — or any drive-in cinema, really — you drive in, park up and watch from your car. The sound will be broadcast by an FM radio, with the option for the spectacle to be live streamed via Zoom, too. You won't be able to get out of your vehicle though, unless going to the bathroom. All ticketing will be contactless, as will any snack purchases, which will be delivered to your car from onsite food trucks. Tickets start at $47 for Broadway Reimagined and go all the way up to $277 for The Veronicas.

It's no secret Australia's music industry has been hit hard during the pandemic, with website I Lost My Gig reporting about $340 million in lost income since COVID-19 saw the cancellation and postponement of festivals and gigs nationwide. With Australia's proposed roadmap out of COVID-19 lockdown, mass gatherings of up to 100 will be permissible from July, which isn't a sustainable outlook for all facets of the industry. Despite Falls Festival 2020 announcing its plans to go ahead, a public health expert predicts music festivals may not be able to restart until September 2021. At least with drive-in concerts, larger live music events will be able to have a small revival — even if it means you must cut shapes in your car.

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