On July 16, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Kehlani performed for frontline and essential workers as part of a new event series called Audi Presents: Summer Drive-In Concert.
The concert was held at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California, to show support for the frontline and essential workers working tirelessly to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This was also the first time Kehlani got to perform tracks from her new album It Was Good Until It Wasn’t, which was released on May 8.
There were around 100 attendees present at the Audi event. Those in attendance could choose to sit inside their car or sit outside in chairs set up for them by Audi. If attendees sat or stood outside their respective cars, they were required to wear masks.
Safety was a top priority at the concert. During the DJ set that preceded Kehlani’s performance, a message was displayed on video screens: “For everyone’s safety, please wear a mask when outside of your Audi.” Guests were also required to submit to a short medical screening upon their arrival. This screening included a temperature check and responding to questions related to travel outside the U.S. and exposure to anyone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. If any attendees answered yes, or had a higher-than-average temperature, they were not permitted into the event.
Kehlani spoke to the crowd during her set, saying, “It’s really nice to socially distantly meet y’all.” She continued, “There’s no more important work than what you guys are doing right now, no more necessary work, so thank you for risking your lives for us. I’m really appreciative and I know we’re all really appreciative.” While most of the crowd was essential workers, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union were also in attendance.
This is not the first drive-in concert experiment happening in the United States. Live Nation has premiered their “Live From the Drive-In” series, featuring artists such as Nelly, Brad Paisley, and Yacht Rock Revue. Similar to those concerts, fans at the Audi drive-in were not permitted to go up to the stage. Kehlani commented on this, saying, “This is so different, usually I can touch people’s hands! I’m touching hands in spirit. I’m happy that we we were able to do this, this is new and a cool experience. I hope you guys are having a good night.”
With the coronavirus pandemic still raging on, drive-in concerts are just one innovative option the music industry is exploring in order to reunite fans and artists, and to bring live music back. And while it’s certainly not the same as filling a packed arena, it’s a step in the right direction.
Featured Image: Instagram (@kehlani)