SA's first drive-in concert - Zakes Bantwini tells us how it would work

Zakes Bantwini (Photo: Gallo Images)
Zakes Bantwini (Photo: Gallo Images)

With social distancing laws still in place restricting large gatherings, artists around the world have had to become creative in the way in which they entertain and interact with fans. 

And while some have turned to technology as a way around the problem, Zakes Bantwini has his sights set on a live event that will allow people to gather within the safety of their cars - a drive-in concert.

The concept is not a new one, the singer/producer explains: "Getting services while you're in your car is not a new thing. It is not fair to close down the whole industry just because of this new pandemic, we can still practise social distancing and every restriction that the government has put forward in Covid-19 with its levels. We can still meet those restrictions while getting entertained and while the industry is still vibrant. So that's how this whole idea came about," he says, adding: "We saw other countries and other places like Denmark, Lithuania, Germany, UK and Europe doing it, so we want to be the first to do it in Africa or at least South Africa."  

In terms of how the concert will work, Bantwini says he plans on working closely with government to ensure that social distancing laws are enforced. 

"At this stage we're thinking of sticking to doing this with 50 cars, because before lockdown government instructed the police to not allow venues to be filled up to over 100 people." 

Cars will not be filled to capacity, he goes on to say, stating that a four-seater car should only carry two people. 

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A conglomerate of SA’s leading entertainers Zakes Bantwini, Dj Sox , Kgolo Daguru(Events promoter & Nighclub Mogul) and Dj Mshayi (Co owner of Rands CPT) have joined forces to put together an innovative outdoor festival. For the past 2 months we've been engaging with the government to propose the re-opening of the entertainment sector as soon as possible by introducing SA‘s First COVID 19 Drive in Concert. " The Drive in Concert " is a music festival specifically designed to create jobs for entertainers while still following strict safety measures on social distancing. ‘Big gatherings mainly in the Arts and Culture are facing a bigger challenge as they are being categorized as high risk. Which means if we do not invent new platforms for artist to perform to an audience then the entertainment industry will suffer the longest’. Stated Zakhele Madida. Other countries like Denmark have already started this trend of Drive in Shows and it has proven to be successful. ‘Fact is, the DRIVE-IN EXPERIENCE has been around forever. It is nothing new under the sun, from watching a movie, enjoying a live show at a drive-in venue or simply buying your favourite burger. However the SA DRIVE IN CONCERT is going to be the first in SA and it’s main purpose is to provide jobs during this Covid 19 pandemic’ said Kgolo Mthembu The Organizers are confident in the execution of this huge project as they have prepared a detailed plan , from health and safety precautions to production. More information will be available on their social Media platforms DRIVEINCONCERT_SA (Facebook and Instagram) also has the hashtag #DriveInConcertSA.

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"Look, this hasn't been done before in SA, so we're going to work closer with our government on how we can stage a safe concert while promoting social distancing, teaching people about the Covid-19 pandemic, [and] the importance of wearing a mask."

Bantwini says attendees will not be allowed to roam around the venue freely or interact with those in other cars.

As talks are still underway, a date for the concert, which is being organised by Zakes, DJ Sox, Kgolo Daguru, and DJ Mshayi, has still not been confirmed.  

"We are still in negotiation with the proposed line-up, as you know a date has to be there first in order for the contracts to be signed which is what the proposed artists are waiting for." 

The first drive-in concert will be an invite-only dry run to help iron out any kinks.

"The first one will be in Durban, next one will be Johannesburg and then Cape Town. We're very excited about this, you'll hear about it soon."