There's been quite some recent buzz surrounding Encore Live's new summer concert series, branded as Encore Drive-In Nights, through which the events company has been airing pre-recorded concerts—the first of which featured country star Garth Brooks—at more than 250 U.S. drive-in movie theaters.
This past weekend, Blake Shelton, another country music star, played for Encore Drive-In Nights and brought onto his recorded set celebrity guests including Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins. The series has generally been received positively by fans, with "scattered news or social media reports" of some concert-goers who were surprised to find that the Brooks performance was not broadcast live but pre-recorded, according to a Variety article. Variety also reported that other companies are now looking into turning drive-ins into music venues, including CineLife Entertainment, which put “The Rolling Stones: Havana Moon” into outdoor locations on July 10.
Well, like most every viral or trendy attraction or movement, there's an ad agency behind it. In the case of Encore Drive-In Nights, it's The Richards Group, the largest independent agency in America based out of Dallas, Texas; which is about 30 miles away from the Fort Worth headquarters of Encore Live.
The Richards Group's Andrew Harper and Kyle Kelley, who both serve as creative group head, are the duo behind Encore Drive-In Nights. Kelley and Harper tell Ad Age that they came up with the idea for the series in response to the cancellation of most every live event due to the pandemic and took it directly to Encore Live, which immediately embraced the idea.