New York State has set new rules for drive-in concerts that give them a double standard compared to drive-in movies, which are structurally the same thing.
Recently, Buffalo Riverworks and electronic dance music promoter, MNM Presents announced the cancellation of their EDM series “Drive-Ins At the Silos”, after owner Mike Marshall was told that his attendees would have to stay seated inside the car for the whole show. They would not be allowed to even sit on a chair or blanket outside the car, or stretch for any reason unless going to the bathroom. Any violation, would result in a fine and a potential for the event to be shut down.
Many people had asked why other venues such as the Transit Drive-In had been allowed to host drive-in movies, but promoters such as Marshall, can’t do drive-in shows.
Today I followed up with the Niagara County Health Department, who informed me that drive-in movies are okay, but the state is cracking down on drive-in concerts and the health departments would be following suit.
“The rules are always enhanced, modified or changed as we go on day by day” a Health Dept Official stated.
Empire State Development recently issued the new guidance that mandates any drive-in concerts, patrons can’t leave their vehicles for any reason, unless it’s to go to the bathroom. Any other reason, like stretching or fresh air, is not allowed, even if social distancing is in place.
The official stated that those rules do not apply for movies however. “If you’re at a drive-in movie, you can sit in a chair or on a blanket outside of your car. You just can’t for concerts.”
The official went on to explain this change happened as a result of a concert event in the Hampton’s that took place where hundreds of people showed up and didn’t social distance.
NYS is one of the only states to punish the whole state, as the result of the actions of a few, hundreds of miles away.