CityView Drive-In is Toronto’s newest music venue

Monster Truck, Allan Rayman and A Tribe Called Red will perform concerts at the drive-in theatre located in the Rebel nightclub parking lot


Sitting or standing shoulder-to-shoulder with other music fans at a concert? It’ll be awhile. But that doesn’t mean there will be no live music in Toronto this pandemic summer. 

INK Entertainment, owner of the hulking Port Lands nightclub and music venue Rebel (along with a handful of other clubs and restaurants in the city) is opening CityView Drive-In. It’s a drive-in theatre, but it’s billed as an outdoor concert and entertainment venue – and beating July Talk to the punch, they’ve announced a handful of concerts out of the gate. 

Hamilton hard rock band Monster Truck is the first of the three on July 16. Local post-grunge singer/songwriter Allan Rayman plays two days later on July 18, and electronic music group A Tribe Called Red plays August 6. Tickets start at $45, $55 and $60, respectively, and go on sale July 2 at Ticketmaster.

It’s a revival of sorts for the old Docks drive-in cinema, which closed in 2018. The space in the parking lot of 20 Polson is designed to host 200-plus vehicles (which means considerably more people) in reserved parking spots a minimum of seven feet apart. There’s a 238-foot stage and three LED screens. As per our weird new normal, everything, including ticket scanning and concessions, is touchless and contactless (you can also bring your own food and drinks).

You listen through a designated FM frequency or roll down your car windows and listen from their sound system. INK owner Charles Khabouth boasts in the press release that there’s “no reason to exit your vehicle.”

“As we adapt to life amid a pandemic, we looked to our neighbours across borders for guidance and inspiration,” he says. “Like Toronto, major global cities have missed out on months of entertainment and have started to rely on creative solutions, like outdoor concert venues.”

More info at CityView’s website.

@trapunski

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