Honk if you like my arias: the summer of drive-in culture

With venues locked down, entertainment-starved audiences are getting in gear for a season of opera, comedy shows and movies experienced from your own car seat – but is it an artistic cul de sac?

Britain has never been good at drive-ins. Historically our cars have been too small for comfort and unsuitable for making out. At British drive-ins the answer to the question, “Is that a gear stick, or are you just pleased to see me?” has always been, “It’s the gear stick.”

This summer things are going to change. Now you’ve watched everything on Netflix, written a terrible novel and made a matchstick replica of the Hagia Sophia, you’re looking for a cultural fix beyond the front door. The answer? Follow Boris Johnson’s injunction to support the economy by driving to Newark show ground next month for what’s billed as the UK’s first drive-in music festival. It could be like Glastonbury with air-con.

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