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Drive-In Concerts with Gavin James planned for Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny

Drive-In Concerts with Gavin James planned for Limerick, Cork, Waterford and Kilkenny

COVID-19 safety concerns means we can’t have nice things like proper live concerts right now, and while we see socially distant sparsely-attended club nights happen in places like Berlin, they’re still a while away here yet.

Drive-In concerts have been touted as the next best thing, with the team behind Bingo Loco among those who plan to do such events.

Well now we have actual drive-in events with Gavin James set to perform in two shows in a drive-in setting in four Irish counties:

CityVenueLocationTickets on saleShows
LimerickThe Greenpark SiteFriday July 24thLiveatthedrivein.ie Dolans.ie*2
CorkCork Show GroundsFriday July 31st Liveatthedrivein.ie2
WaterfordTramore PromenadeFriday August 7th Liveatthedrivein.ie2
KilkennyGowran RacecourseMonday August 10th Liveatthedrivein.ie2

The spaces will adhere to WHO and Governmental Covid-19 safety recommendations and guidelines and capacity will be 250 to 300 cars depending on the site. More events are planned by the team who include Carl Owens of MPI Artists (who represent Mary Black, Aslan, King Kong Company, Paul Brady, JYellowL) and Mark Dunne of 360 Management.

The Gavin James shows will be a matinee show at 4pm and an evening show at 8pm. Tickets priced at €60 + booking fees and taxes per car of four will go on sale at liveatthedrivein.ie on Friday May 29th at 9am. 

A contribution from the proceeds of each event will be given to a nominated charity of the headline band’s choosing. Gavin James chosen charity is Down Syndrome Centre.

There’s more from the organisers’ plans direct but the main highlights are 4 people max per car who must be from the same household, there’s no alcohol available or allowed and you can’t leave the car to dance or hang out (only go to the toilet).

How Drive-In Concerts work in Germany.

The larger question is whether drive-ins offer a decent experience. Will there be music played over a PA during the show? Update: yes, there’s a PA for these shows too. (Otherwise, it really would be just listening to the radio).

Most of us don’t have convertibles in Ireland. Is watching a gig through a windscreen, listening to the radio going to match live music? No, it is a novel stopgap and that’s fine.

More to the point, how can the organisers make money or break even with those costs? 300 max by 60 is €18,000 x 2 which is €36,000 per day to cover all artists, crew, insurance, venue, security, IMRO et – which isn’t much for an outdoor live show – it’s not clear if it makes profit at all – perhaps it’s not intended to be.

Perhaps Gavin James is waiving his fee, after charity donation, in order to give his crew and the rest of those involved a pay day. Perhaps there will be corporate sponsor to make up the shortfall. I can’t see how viable drive-in concerts can be long-term but they can offer short-term benefits in terms of crew employment.

Update: Mark Dunne says the gig is financially viable.

From the organisers:


  1. HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LIVE AT THE DRIVE-IN is a unique and family friendly way to reintroduce music to the Irish market.

The safety of our staff and general public is paramount and in order for the Irish economy to reopen for business we must all respect the public health guidelines and respect social distancing.

Your car

Arrive in your car, stay in your car, leave in your car 

1. Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets are only available online at liveatthedrivein.ie from on Friday May 29th / Saturday May 30th

There will be no walk-up sales on the day, 1 ticket per car.

Max occupants per car is 4 under those aged 18 years are welcome.

2. Can I come with my friends?

In order to respect public health guidelines, it is recommended that only members of the same household attend.

3. Can Alcohol be purchased on site

No, there is no alcohol permitted on site, this is a family friendly event and there will be no bars on site, and it is not permitted to bring your own beer, anybody found to be consuming alcohol will be asked to leave the site 

4. Can I bring food and snacks?

Yes, you can, we ask all customers to please bring their rubbish home with them.

More details on food procedure will follow 

5. I am worried about public safety

Please be assured that every staff member on site receives rigorous safety training and full PPE is provided for all our staff and each site operates a very detailed Covid-19 management plan. 

Social distancing rules are strictly followed on site.

6. Are there toilets on site?

Yes, there will be general and disabled toilets on site, these are to be used as an emergency facility rather than a public amenity. If you have to go you have to go.

6. Am I allowed to leave my car at any time?

We recommend you remain in your vehicle however if you need exit to use the toilets that is fine.

7. Can I dance?

Yes, you can as long as you do it from the comfort of your car, exiting your car to have a boogie is not allowed.

8. What if I need any sort assistance on site.

No problem we have a team onsite that will be constantly monitoring vehicles, we are here to help, just roll down your window and give us a wave.

9. What do I need to attend Live at the drive in.

A ticket, a car and a working radio, FM transmitter frequency will be supplied on site.

10. What is the most important piece of advice I can listen to?

Listen to our staff and please obey all instructions from them, we are here to help and here to help you enjoy the show. It is important customers follow the instructions given to them.

11. Is there reserved parking?

No, parking is unreserved and is on a first come first served basis, drive in staff will marshal you to your spot, please follow staffs parking instructions as each space has been carefully measured.

12. What kind of vehicles are not allowed?

Vans, High roof vans, trucks, coach’s, minibuses and motorbikes. 

These vehicles will be refused access to the site.

13.is there medics onsite?

Yes, we have fully trained and equipped medical staff to assist you.

If you require assistance at any stage just let a member of our staff know.

14. Venue opening times.

Each event will open 1 hour before each performance, vehicles will not be permitted in site before then.

15. Leaving during the show

If for whatever reason you find you need to leave early just let our drive-in staff know and we will assist you. 

16. Leaving after the show

There is a traffic management plan in place and drive in staff will assist the traffic flow to ensure that everyone gets to leave safely and without delay.

Please be patient with our staff.

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