Guy Robinson is Founder and CEO of live talent business Coalition Agency, representing artists including Nick Grimshaw, Greg James and Ministry of Sound, as well as owning music and entertainment brands such as Just Can’t Get Enough 80s and the recently launched Car Park Party. In this Q&A, he tells Access how this latest venture aims to set itself apart from other drive-in events that have popped up post-Covid.
A few drive-in events have been popping up over the last month – how will Car Park Party differentiate itself?
Haven’t we had enough of watching movies on Netflix yet?! Live entertainment is at the heart of everything we do at Coalition, so we focused on that passion. Our events revolve around ‘Comedy’, a partnership with The Comedy Store, ‘Theatre’, with the brilliant ‘Horrible Histories’, and a damned good in-car singalong with live ‘mass karaoke’ band, Massaoke. We’re very proud to be the only national tour bringing all these live artists back to work in a hugely tough period.
What locations will it be taking place in – and what was the process for getting a license like for an event such as this?
We’re off to Exeter, Henley, Northampton, Dudley, Manchester, Newbury, Chelmsford and Belfast. All of the sites we’ve partnered with have a heritage for putting on great events, which has helped hugely. That said, we’ve had to adapt all of our documentation and processes to ensure we meet current Covid-19 regulations, which is harder than you’d think given there’s a lack of formal instruction from central government!
How much are you selling tickets for?
Tickets start at £30 per car for the family theatre shows, and £35 for the karaoke and comedy. We’ve kept it as affordable as possible.
How do the overhead costs of a drive-in event compare to that of a ‘normal’ live event or festival?
Working around the challenges of Covid has certainly made the events more expensive to deliver, especially with areas like the toilets, but the real challenge is making the numbers stack up on a ‘per car’ rather than ‘per head’ basis. We wanted to keep the pricing simple, but had to remember that 300 cars at each event could actually be as many as 1200 people, which then sounds a lot more of a challenge, especially if you’re selling 7 shows in 2 days – that’s potentially 8,500 visitors, which, as any promoter will know, is a much bigger mountain to climb.
Will you be using car radios for audio, as some drive-in events are, or are you using speakers from a main stage?
All of our sites will use FM technology, supported by a modest PA rig on the truck stage. Considering all factors it was the easiest and most cost effective solution, and the team are expecting to be well versed in tuning car radios by the end of the summer tour!