AT his first gig in more than three months, Dopebwoy, a Dutch rapper, climbed the stairs to the stage, turned to the right and stared out at the crowd. Before him was a sea of cars.

''Germany!'' shouted Michael Jalink, Dopebwot's master of ceremonies at the show in Schuttorf, a small town just east of the Dutch border. ''Are you ready for Dopebwoy?'' And the cars honked back.

Beyond cinema, the drive-in format had never found a place within live- event culture. But in a pandemic, its time has perhaps come.

Across Europe, pastors have set up drive-in churches, and promoters have set up drive-in concerts and drive-in plays, turning to the format as a means of hosting events while easily keeping audience members apart.

In an era of social distancing, it turns out there are few better distancing devices than a car door.

Few have embraced this drive-in concept as avidly as the owners of a Index, a family-run nightclub in Schuttorf, where Dopebwoy played last Friday.

Index has been one of the pioneers of the lockdown drive-in, holding what it has branded a drive-in disco every weekend since early May. Revelers arrive at the club in their cars, park in the adjacent lot - and then stay behind their wheels to listen to D.J.s and watch performers like Dopebwoy.

the events have proved surprisingly popular, despite lacking most of the physical experiences generally deemed essential to a successful club night. It's a good thing, too, because nightclubs like Index are not expecting to reopen their dance floors until 2021.

''This feels like Saturday again!'' said Ronan Zwaagstra, a 19-year-old student attending Dopebwoy's show in his hatchback.
Then he paused.
''But without the drinking''.
Another pause.
''Or the dancing.''

Yet these were just minor concerns for Mr. Zwaagstra, a Dutchman who was here for the second weekend running.

He likes the drive-in club experience so much that he drives nearly 60 miles to attend - and crosses a national border in the process. 

This isn't the kind of drive-in where lovers go to find privacy. Staff members wander the aisles between the cars , and the cars themselves are parked close together.

Still, the drive-in has its advantages. At a regular club, it takes hours for guests to warm up. ''But here, when they drive in, they're already hyped up,'' said VYT, known outside the music business as Veit Engelker.

The drive in disco is nevertheless not to everyone's taste. At the back it was difficult to see the stage. 

And after three hours, sitting in a car becomes uncomfortable. ''My legs are hurting,'' said Denise Schut, a 27-year-old day care worker who said she wouldn't be returning.

''And my back.'' But artists like Dopebwoy are steeling themselves for months pf honking and revving engines as they await reopening for nightclubs.

''There will be a lot of these car shows,'' said Dopebwoy, whose real name is Jordan Jacott. ''We better get used to it.''

The Honor and Serving of the latest global operational research on the changing world, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Patrick Kingsley.


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