On Saturday night, Garth Brooks' concert event was broadcast to 300 drive-in theaters across the country, with thousands of fans driving in to watch the country icon perform in a pre-recorded show. Over 350,000 fans turned out to see Brooks' show, which he created specifically for the drive-in event and the unique time we're living in.
"Watching people all night from coast to coast, in Canada and here in the U.S., laughing, dancing and singing, made me smile," Brooks said in a statement. "It reminded me how much I miss the crazy, happy and unpredictable life we lead as entertainers. For one night, things seemed... right." According to the Charlotte Observer, Brooks' set was around one hour and 14 minutes long and contained hits like "Ain't Going Down ('Till the Sun Comes Up)," "The River," "The Thunder Rolls," "Friends in Low Places" and more.
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Encore Live founder and CEO Walter Kinzie said that after a huge amount of work, Brooks finished the prerecorded show last week. "He has spent weeks on this performance," Kinzie said. "Garth worked around the clock on it at his ranch near Nashville and then in his studio in Nashville to bring this thing to life. It's been an ongoing process." On Instagram, Brooks shared a photo from one of the theaters and wrote, "Last night I saw everything great about the old days, but it happened right in the middle of the most uncertain times I have known in my life. #ThisIsAMERICA! I can't thank you enough!!!"
The Oklahoma native originally announced his drive-in event earlier this month and explained that it would be run "just like a regular concert." "This one guy came to me and said, 'Hey, look, we can put 300 drive-in theaters together if you will create a concert solely for the drive-ins. We can have families jump in the car, get them out on Saturday night,'" the 58-year-old said on Good Morning America on Thursday. "They're going to run it just like a regular concert, but this is going to be all over North America, one night only. We are excited because this is a reason to get out of the house, but at the same time you get to follow all the COVID rules from every individual state and you get to have fun and stay within the guidelines of social distancing... we're calling it 'social distancing partying.'"