Canada Gets Its First Drive-In Music Festival

The socially distanced Summerset Music & Arts Festival will take place just outside Vancouver this summer

BY Brock ThiessenPublished May 13, 2020

ICYMI so-called "drive-in" concerts are very real, and for proof, this summer we're getting what's being called "Canada's first Drive-In music festival."

Taking place August 28 to 30 just outside Vancouver, the Summerset Music & Arts Festival has announced plans for a pandemic-geared music event, embracing not only "drive-in" concert-going, but also various other socially distanced initiatives.

Organizers for the event in Fort Langley have outlined their 2020 event, and you can attend it three different ways — all of which promote social distancing. First, you can simply livestream the event. But if you want something more IRL, Summerset will also feature a "drive-in/tailgating" option, in addition to giving attendees the option of claiming their own socially distanced plot to view the stage.

So far, the event hasn't ironed out all the details, but Summerset explains that this year's event "has been designed to adhere to the BC laws around COVID-19," with organizers planning to make their final decisions of how festivalgoers can view the concert as the BC government slowly ushers in its phased approach to reopening.

The exact location is also so far TBD, but it "will allow you more distancing to watch, listen, and enjoy the live concert, all from the comfort and safety of your vehicle, an open tailgate, or the bed of a pickup truck."

Perhaps best of all, Summerset is a benefit event, with proceeds going to the countless BC artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Thousands of British Columbians in the live music and events industry are suffering in ways never experienced before as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent bans placed on gatherings," organizers write. "Income from live events, small gigs, exhibitions, and festivals provides not only for the livelihood of thousands, but also the life and vitality of arts and culture in communities across British Columbia."

So far, the lineup of the event has yet to be announced.

"We know there are ways we can support and serve our music community this summer, and we will be working in partnership with local government and health authorities to ensure our guests, artists, and public's safety," organizers state.

Stay tuned for further details at the Summerset website and view the festival's initial announcement below.

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