Back In Business: Düsseldorf Drive-In First With Pandemic-Era Boxoffice Reports

Andreas Rentz / Getty Images
– Fans
enjoy the Alligatoah performance at the Georg Schutz drive-in in Dusseldorf, Germany, April 23.

Pollstar heralds the arrival of the first box office reports for live events since the industry shutdown in March due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Düsseldorf-based venue group D.LIVE has reported 16 events that occurred in April and May at the city’s Autokino Düsseldorf, presented by Gottfried Schultz. The venue was one of the first in Europe to host music fans with drive-in concerts and was instrumental in helping to usher in the concept of audiences enjoying socially distanced live shows from the comfort of their own automobiles.

The series of concerts reported by D.LIVE was dated April 23 through May 30 and kicked off with a two-night engagement by German hip-hop artist Alligatoah. With a €78.65 ticket price per vehicle with two passengers, he sold 500 tickets for each show for an overall gross of €78,640 (or $86,500). Berlin-born rapper Sido continued the trend April 25-26, selling out both of his shows with 1,000 tickets moved and a combined gross of €88,470 ($97,313). The most tickets sold by any artist at the venue during the five-week stretch was 1,134, at another two-night engagement in late April. The Köln rock band Brings played for sellout crowds on April 28-29, grossing €120,010 ($132,005) with ticket prices of €58 per car for either two adults or one adult and one child. Backseat tickets for €15 were also available. 

No artist sold more tickets in a single night at the drive-in than the band Sondaschule, which moved 629 tickets on May 27. With an entrance fee of €80 per vehicle, the performance racked up a gross of €41,520 ($45,246).
Three of the events were part of promoter BigCityBeats’ “World Club Dome” concert series, which featured EDM artists for both evening and midnight shows. The dates of those performances were April 30, May 20 and May 30, and featured artists including DJ Le Shuuk, Alle Farben and Gestört aber Geil, among others.

Concert promoters for the Düsseldorf drive-in series varied by event, and included Semmel Concerts Entertainment, which ranked fourth on Pollstar’s Top 50 Promoters chart based on worldwide ticket sales during the first quarter of 2020. Semmel was the highest-ranked promoter outside of North America in the Q1 recaps. The company, with offices in seven German cities, promoted the Schiller concert on May 3 with 195 sold tickets priced at €95.

On June 4, German singer-songwriter Nico Santos returned to Autokino Düsseldorf for another performance; going forward, Sido will return for two more shows June 6-7. A “World Club Dome” event is booked for June 10 with evening and midnight shows featuring DJ Lari Luke.

Pop singer Pietro Lombardi is set to perform live at the drive-in on July 1, and Mannheim-born rapper Greeen will hit the stage on July 3.

In addition to the Autokino, the D.LIVE group of Düsseldorf venues also includes the 54,000-seat football stadium Merkur Spiel-Arena, multi-use indoor arena ISS Dome, mid-sized arena Mitsubishi Electric Halle and event hall Castello Düsseldorf. 

D.LIVE is also a member of the Oak View Group (OVG) International Venue Alliance. (OVG is the parent company of Pollstar.)