'Drive-by' concerts, movies, weddings and funerals: is this the future of gatherings?

14 May 2020 - 17:42
By Naledi Shange
Image: nacroba/123RF

After the success of music DJs successfully throwing “lockdown houseparties” on TV for thousands of revellers who now enjoy partying in the comfort of their own homes, organisers of popular music festival Splashy Fen are taking it up a notch by introducing "drive-by" festivals where partygoers will never have to leave their cars.

Much like the days of drive-in movies from back in the day, Splashy Fen organisers are proposing that these kind of concerts will see people gather for live performances without necessarily gathering. 

The concept has been labelled Parkflix and is in the pipeline for Impi Concept Events, which is the brains behind Splashy Fen. The company said it was working with the government in fine-tuning the concept. 

“Right now there is a need for innovative and creative thinking in our industry; and we’ve been working around the clock to create feasible new outlets for fans, artists and workers within the entertainment field,” Stu Berry of Impi Concept Events was quoted as saying.

 “We are extremely excited to be launching Parkflix, in association with Splashy Fen, and working closely with government to get the concept up and running as soon as we can. As a company, we have worked hard over the years to secure our place as the foremost live outdoor entertainment providers in KZN. This allows us to provide three separate venues to existing and new fans to meet everyone’s entertainment needs in the best way we possibly can under the current conditions,” he added.

The project could possibly be piloted in three locations, Hillcrest, Durban and Umhlanga.

If it works, this concept could be extended to other projects too. 

“The venues will also provide options to church groups and other functions such as educational productions, weddings and even funerals; offering a solution in a period where uncertainty lies ahead on when we will all be able to gather again without social distancing measures,” Impi Concepts said.

“Depending on the venue, up to 250 vehicles could be accommodated at a time; with attendees arriving in their cars and tuning in via their FM radio sets. The concept ticks all the boxes in terms of safety, as entertainment is displayed on the large screens, giving attendees no reason to leave the car – other than to visit the bathroom.”

Berry said once the lockdown levels were relaxed further, they would start looking at rolling out the project.

“While it’s impossible to set firm launch dates just yet, we are excited to be working closely with government departments to make it happen. We share a common goal of bringing entertainment to the people of Ethekwini as soon as possible,” he said.