Boijmans Van Beuningen’s drive-through museum at the Ahoy centre, Rotterdam
Boijmans Van Beuningen’s drive-through museum at the Ahoy centre, Rotterdam © Amie Galbraith

Events and event planning are being disrupted by the worldwide spread of coronavirus. For the latest updates, read the FT’s coverage of the outbreak

Drive-in cinemas are popping up all over the place, from Billericay to Bahrain. In Jordan, the Amman International Film Festival (AIFF) has just announced that its inaugural edition will go ahead later this month – in the country’s first drive-in. In Venice, films were shown for punters on boats. And it’s not just film that’s getting into gear. Music, comedy and theatre have all been performed for in-car audiences in the past few months, with the sound picked up via radio waves. It’s not been an entirely smooth ride, however. In the UK, the multi-venue Live From The Drive-In concert series, with performances by Gary Numan and Dizzee Rascal, was called off due to “the latest developments regarding localised lockdowns”, while London’s Drive In Club’s schedule of concerts and comedy sets was cancelled, citing escalating costs. But it’s not the end of the road for car culture. Here are nine events to test-drive this summer. 

Secret Cinema
With its immersive screenings on hold, Secret Cinema has taken over the racetrack at Goodwood, Chichester with a drive-in. Its line-up of classic films new and old – from Reservoir Dogs to Jojo Rabbit – is accompanied by “a specially curated selection of luxury ice cream”. Until 31 August; secretcinema.org

Level 8 Drive-In with Street Food Cinema at The Americana at Brand, Los Angeles
Level 8 Drive-In with Street Food Cinema at The Americana at Brand, Los Angeles

Street Food Cinema
In LA, Street Food Cinema is a well-oiled operation, now in its ninth season. Its new drive-in offerings across several venues – with showings of Grease, Fight Club or Knives Out – bring a selection of the city’s fêted food trucks along for the ride. It’s adding gigs to the line-up too, with Portland’s acoustic folk duo Aelish taking to the stage on 19 September. streetfoodcinema.com 

ENO’s 2018 performance of La Bohème; singer Natalya Romaniw will take the lead role of Mimi in September’s Live & Drive production
ENO’s 2018 performance of La Bohème; singer Natalya Romaniw will take the lead role of Mimi in September’s Live & Drive production © Robert Workman

ENO Drive & Live
In September, English National Opera is putting on 12 shortened, 90-minute performances of Puccini’s La Bohème for an audience to enjoy from their cars – or in designated, pre-booked “Uber Boxes” and space reserved near the front for those arriving on foot or by bike – at Alexandra Palace in north London. The singers and musicians will be spaced out in accordance with government guidelines, while video screens will also relay the onstage performance. “No one knows exactly how long theatre closures could last, so it’s really important to keep operating – both financially and artistically,” says ENO artistic director Annilese Miskimmon. “We’re treating this first ENO Drive & Live as a pilot project we can then roll out across the country. I think Puccini, as a dramatic genius himself, would have enjoyed seeing how we are rising to the challenge.” 19–27 September; eno.org 

Visitors to the Boijmans Van Beuningen drive-through in Rotterdam can hire an electric car
Visitors to the Boijmans Van Beuningen drive-through in Rotterdam can hire an electric car © Amie Galbraith

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Currently closed for renovation, the Rotterdam museum is taking its latest exhibition on the road by hosting it in the vast Ahoy convention centre and making it accessible only by electric car – which can be provided by a local dealer. The artworks will be arranged as if on a track and illuminated by the cars’ headlights. It’s a novel way to view paintings by Anselm Kiefer and Oskar Kokoschka; sculptures by Auguste Renoir, Claes Oldenburg and René Magritte; and film and video by Richard Serra and Bruce Nauman. Until 23 August; boijmans.nl

The Drive-In Drag Show takes to the stage at the Dreamland Drive-In, Las Vegas 
The Drive-In Drag Show takes to the stage at the Dreamland Drive-In, Las Vegas 

Drive-In Drag Show
In May, the world’s first live drive-in drag show took place in Las Vegas. A string of sold-out shows hosted by Edie – the drag queen character and Cirque du Soleil star played by Christopher Kenney benefited The Actors Fund and Golden Rainbow, a charity providing housing and financial assistance to people living with HIV and Aids in Southern Nevada. Further events are now being planned in Palm Springs, LA, San Diego and San Francisco, as well as Las Vegas. driveindragshow.com

Kunstfest Weimar
The German city of Weimar is going ahead with its annual festival of contemporary theatre, music, dance and visual arts by establishing a new venue that can function as an open-air theatre – but also, says artistic director Rolf C Hemke, “a drive-in stage for hosting a pandemic-proof core programme”. This includes a new play by Berlin-based author and director Falk Richter entitled Five Deleted Messages, and a concert, World Premiere of a Painting, by baritone opera singer Matthias Goerne, based around a new Anselm Kiefer artwork. 26 August–13 September; kunstfest-weimar.de

Wavelength Drive-In Cinema overlooking Watergate Bay, Cornwall 
Wavelength Drive-In Cinema overlooking Watergate Bay, Cornwall  © Wavelength Media

Wavelength
This is a drive-in cinema with a view – overlooking Watergate Bay in Cornwall. Point Break is, of course, the one to watch in this surfing hotspot, while a direct-to-car service supplies local craft beers and street food. Until 6 September; wavelengthmag.com/drive-in-cinema

The Parking Lot Social set up in Philadelphia
The Parking Lot Social set up in Philadelphia

The Parking Lot Social
DJ sets, quizzes and “Car-a-oke” are all part of Parking Lot Social’s daytime drive-in programme aimed at children and teens. The US tour – which also involves evening events and comedy gigs for adults – stops at Brooklyn (12–23 August), Chicago (26–30 August), Boston (26 August–6 September) and other cities. The format has now hopped across to the UK, with confirmed dates in Edinburgh (12–23 August), Glasgow (26 August–6 September) and Newcastle (9–13 September) and more to be announced. theparkinglotsocial.com; theparkinglotsocial.co.uk 

Plus: the world’s first film festival on water
The fourth edition of the Carl International Film Festival will take place in beautiful Saltö Fiskehamn harbour in Karlskrona, Sweden – with the audience seated on boats. The programme focuses on new films from Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Sweden and Norway, while food will be delivered to boats from harbourside restaurants. 21–26 August; ciff.se

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