In Del Mar, concertgoers rock out from the comfort of their cars in new drive-in series

Entertainment

DEL MAR, Calif. — In a year of numerous cancellations, concerts are back on in San Diego in a whole new way.

Concerts In Your Car kicked off Friday evening at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The drive-in concert series concept by CBF Productions was crafted as the company fell on hard times as the entertainment industry ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Concerts In Your Car kicked off Friday evening at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The drive-in concert series concept by CBF Productions was crafted as the company fell on hard times as the entertainment industry ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But then a socially distanced idea came to mind, company CEO Vincenzo Giammanco said.

“We got the (Paycheck Protection Program) loan and I was driving by a parking lot in Venture and I’m like, ‘You know what? Why don’t we do concerts in your car?'” Giammanco said. “It was just kind of a random idea.”

The company has put on more than 60 drive-in concerts in Ventura since June. San Diego had its first two Friday night with a twin-bill performance by the alt reggae rockers Dirty Heads.

Other shows on the docket this year include a Selena tribute starring Adelaide (Oct. 1), DJ Snoopadelic, better known as Snoop Dogg (Oct. 4), San Diego natives Slightly Stoopid (Oct. 10) and The Beach Boys (Oct. 24), among others. The full slate of drive-in concerts is here.

Tickets vary in price by generally start at $99 per car with options for some shows up to $350.

Giammanco said hosting two concerts on the same night “gives bands a chance to perform for more people and gives people and option to see the early or the late show.”

The Bruce family sees Dirty Heads together every summer, so they jumped at the opportunity. Although things look different, they argue there’s actually more pros than cons to the drive-in experience.

“Being so close to the stage, it’s very exciting,” Connor Bruce said. “I didn’t think we were going to be this close.”

“You have a lot more personal space, so you can be all hyped up and dance, but if you want to just chill out or take a break, you can sit right back down and you’re not surrounded by people.”

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