Inside your own car is one of the safer places to be during a pandemic, and drive-in concerts suddenly make sense. In Colorado, the Fort Collins Symphony and Music Director Wes Kenney performed several concerts this summer at the Holiday Twin Drive-In; the concerts were followed by screenings of films such as Ghostbusters, Goldfinger, and Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. In San Diego, the Mainly Mozart Festival’s well-attended drive-in chamber concerts, which began in July, feature small ensembles of musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Diego Symphony led by those ensembles’ concertmasters, Martin Chalifour and Jeff Thayer. In August and September, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra live-streamed drive-in concerts at the Mallards Duck Pond in Madison, Wisconsin; each concert had a 115-car capacity. In New York, the Lake George Music Festival presented two drive-in concerts in September, featuring the Beethoven Quintet for Piano and Winds, Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, and Rubinstein’s Octet, Op. 9, with guests watching from their cars or their own lawn chairs, within arm’s length of their vehicles. In September, the Seattle Symphony’s drive-in concert at Marymoor Park featured a previously filmed concert at Benaroya Hall. Canada’s Montreal Symphony performed at the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport for an audience of 520 cars—and their occupants—in August.

Caption1: On July 11, California’s Mainly Mozart festival launched its drive-in concert series at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with the audience listening from cars. Photo courtesy of Mainly Mozart.

Caption 2: The Montreal Symphony Orchestra performs in a parking lot at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, guest conducted by Jacques Lacombe, on August 5, 2020. Photo by Eric Thomas.