Local electronic dance music event promoter Relentless Beats is entering uncharted territory this weekend. It's helping put on Road Rave, the first drive-in music festival in North America, with patrons attending in cars and few of the usual amenities of a normal outdoor concert experience being offered.
It’s been a unique experience promoting the event, says Relentless Beats owner Thomas Turner. Then again, these are unique times we’re living in right now.
“If you told me at the beginning of 2020 that we’d be doing a drive-in festival, I would’ve said that you’re crazy,” Turner says. “But here we are.”
And where we are is less than 72 hours away from the two-night music event, which is taking place at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in Chandler on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30. Notable EDM artists and DJ/producers will perform, including Carnage (who is also co-promoting Road Rave with Relentless Beats and Live Nation) and names like Valentino Khan, 4B, Deorro, and Dr. Fresch.
They’re scheduled to perform on a massive stage backed by an enormous LED wall with beats being blasted over a P.A. system. Beyond that, the setup is unlike any local music festival you’ve ever attended.
Up to 500 cars will be at Road Rave on Friday and Saturday, each loaded with EDM fans and parked in their own 27-by-28-foot area. Patrons will be required to stay in their stalls and asked to wear masks. No alcohol service or vendors will be available and everyone will have to maintain social distancing from other parties at all times.
“You've got to have social distancing and enforce it if you’re having an event. There's no question,” Turner says. “And right now, a lot of people don't like to be told what to do, but if they can't do what we’re asking, they can't come.”
Turner hopes that those who attend Road Rave can embrace the rules and still have a good time.
“We're making it a socially distant festival venue that people can drive up, find their spot, hear the music, feel the beats, and have a memorable [experience],” he says.
What else is in store for Road Rave? Check out the following guide to the event with everything you need to know.
When and Where Is the Festival?
Road Rave takes place on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, at Wild Horse Motorsports Park, 20000 South Maricopa Road in Chandler. Gates open at 6 p.m. and performances start at 7:30 p.m.
How Much Are Tickets?
First off, they’re only selling admission for Friday since Saturday’s tickets are sold out. Prices vary depending on how many people and how close to the stage you’d like to park.
Admission to the back lot is $115 for vehicles with up to five people and $155 for up to eight people. Mid-lot access is $195 for a maximum of five people in your ride and $275 for up to eight people. Getting into the front lot is $295 for up to five people, $395 for a maximum of eight. You can also purchase guaranteed front row parking for $550 for a five-person vehicle.
How Do I Get to the Venue?
Take Interstate 10 to Exit 162 (Wild Horse Pass Road/Sundust Road) and then head west. There will be signs with directions to the park and staff to guide you the rest of the way.
Will There Be Rideshare or Party Buses?
Neither will be available. Basically, you have to drive yourself or ride with your crew in a vehicle in order to attend Road Rave.
When Should I Arrive?
Relentless Beats is recommending that people show up well in advance of the start of the festival (at least 45 minutes or more), which will allow the staff time to get everyone parked.
So There's Going to Be an Infoline?
Yes. It’s a riff on the phone lines used by rave promoters to give out details about a dance party. It’s available by calling 480-900-1588 and features Carnage giving the 411 on Road Rave.
Are There Age Limits?
Nope. Road Rave is an all-ages event and no alcohol is being sold. You obviously need to be of legal driving age to get your vehicle to the festival.
What's the Weather Going to Be Like?
It’s more or less summer in Phoenix, so expect warm weather. Temperatures will be in the high 90s when the festival starts each night but things will cool off as the evening rolls on. You’ll want to roll down your windows anyway, since the music will be played over a P.A. system instead of being broadcast on a low-power FM transmitter.
What’s the Lineup for Each Night?
Carnage will headline both nights of the festival. The rest of the lineup on Friday will include sets by 4B, Valentino Khan, and Dr. Fresch, as well as locals like BIJOU and Blossom. Saturday will feature sets by 4B, Khan, Fresch, BIJOU, Deorro, and Paz. Set times have not been posted as of yet.
Can I Get Out of My Vehicle?
Yes, but there will be limitations. Each vehicle will have a 27-by-28-foot space, and festival patrons can get out to stretch their legs, get their groove on to the music, or use the restroom. Promoters are asking people to remain in their parking spaces, limit their contact and interaction with people in other parties, or stay in their cars as much as possible. Security will be enforcing social distancing during the festival.
Do I Have to Wear a Mask at Road Rave?
Relentless Beats isn’t requiring them to attend, but are “strongly recommending” that patrons have face coverings of some kind while at the event. Given how masks and bandannas are the norm at raves and EDM festival these days, it really shouldn’t be that much of an inconvenience.
What’s the Restroom Situation Going to Be Like?
Portapotties and hand-washing stations will set up at the end of each row. People are asked to maintain social distancing if waiting in line.
Will There Be Food and Drink Available?
Yes, according to Relentless Beats. They’re saying that concessions can be purchased in advance on the Road Rave website and delivered directly to cars, but no information has been posted as of this writing. Stay tuned for further details.
So There Won't Be Alcohol for Sale?
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That’s correct. Road Rave will be a dry event.
Can I Leave Early If Needed?
Yes, but reentry won’t be allowed at the festival.