With theaters closed due the coronavirus, the drive in concept has been making a comeback — and not only for movies. In the Czech Republic, ArtParking is a multi-genre festival using the drive in concept, where people stay in their cars to watch live and recorded entertainment. The first events will be at Prague Market (Pražská tržnice) on April 24
The festival will take place on weekends in Prague as well as Plzeň, Brno and Ostrava. People will be able to see theatrical performances, concerts, movies, sporting events or worship services from their cars. This will minimize contact with other viewers and reduce the risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus.
“Watching live theater through an internet webcam or listening to a live concert is fine, but a little like kissing through a veil. We think living art necessarily needs a shared moment here and now. We want to offer people who long for such a meeting an unusual experience of attending a cultural event from the comfort and safety of their own car,” organizer Karel Kratochvíl said.
“Following the example of ancient Greeks, I believe in the harmony of mental and physical beauty. Therefore, the program will satisfy not only culture fans, but also sports fans. For example, you can look forward to athletic exhibitions in those disciplines that fit on our stage,” he added.
People can select which event they want to see, and buy a ticket online. The ticket will arrive via email, and when the car arrives at the venue, the driver can show the email ticket through the car window without having to roll the window down, so there is no personal contact with the staff. Refreshments can also be ordered online, which will be delivered to the car’s assigned parking location.
On April 24 at Prague Market the project kicks off with a family-oriented theater production by Bratři v tricku called Autospecial at 4 pm and a concert from Monika Načeva who is presenting her new album Zdivočelí koně (Wild Horses), at 7 pm. More events will be announced soon.
Programming on Fridays in general will focus on relaxing after a work week and will include a stand-up performance or an evening DJ. Saturdays will focus primarilyon families with children, including fairy tales and animated films. Sundays will have spiritual themes, and classical or jazz concerts.
Films will focus on showing the beauty of places near and far in times of limited travel opportunity.
While restrictions to combat coronavirus are slowly being lifted in several planned phases, requirements for social distancing and face coverings will likely be in place throughout the summer, if not longer. It is not yet clear when events such as concerts, film festivals and plays that bring together large groups of people will be allowed again.
The ArtParking project is designed to respect all governmental and hygienic rules, while providing a way for people to go out and experience some entertainment.
Performing artists will be equipped with protective equipment, and the whole process of ordering tickets or distribution of refreshments will be done without contact. The number of cars allowed at events will also be limited so proper spacing can be maintained.