Garth Brooks’ recent success as a drive-in movie attraction is begetting an entire summer series. Encore Live is using the sellout business that Brooks’ filmed concert did at many of the more than 300 outdoor locations where it was presented June 27 as the springboard to launch an entire series, to be presented under the Encore Drive-In Nights banner — starting with a July 25 show starring another country star, Blake Shelton.
Shelton’s concert film will include his recent partner in duets and other life matters, Gwen Stefani, as a guest, along with country’s Trace Adkins, who will presumably join him in reviving their decade-old hit “Hillbilly Bone.” “This is such a great way to enjoy music with your family and friends and stay safe,” Shelton said in a statement, promising to perform oldies like “Austin” and adding that “we might even introduce something brand new.”
Shelton’s show is being touted as the first in a series of concert films set for this summer that will “deliver a front-row look at the world’s most iconic recording artists” — and that (apparently unlike the Brooks show, which was a fairly straightforward representation of one of his concert sets, on a soundstage) will “include cinematic interviews and storytelling.”
Tickets go on sale July 14 at Ticketmaster, with a list of participating drive-in theaters and pop-up locations to be posted here. Encore Live reps say the ticketing protocol will be the same as it was for the Brooks show, with per-carload pricing at $114.99, which allows admission for up to six people, limited to the number of seatbelts in a vehicle.
The Brooks concert was generally enthusiastically received by fans. There were scattered news or social media reports of some patrons who were surprised to realize that the show was pre-recorded and not being broadcast to theaters live, which may account for the explicit language in Wednesday’s announcement that Shelton’s show is a filmed presentation.
The company said that additional drive-in programs to follow Shelton’s one-nighter will be announced in the coming weeks.
Encore Live is not the only company looking to turn drive-ins into concert-movie halls: CineLife Entertainment recently announced that it is putting “The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon” into outdoor locations July 10, although that Cuba-set presentation is a concert film originally released six years ago, not something newly created for drive-ins.