How Keith Urban Is Proving That Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

"We'll Just Bring the Stage Out to Them," He Says

Keith Urban has his mind made up, and he is certain — even during these uncertain times — that nothing will come between him and his fans.

After his groundbreaking concert at the Stardust Drive-In Movie Theater in Watertown, Tennessee on May 14, he talked to Billboard about the experience and what it could mean for the future.

“The thing that took the longest was just making sure protocols and guidelines, which were ever changing, weekly if not daily, to make sure we were checking all the right boxes and doing things the right way,” Urban said, “but at the same time not letting all of those things cause us to just go, ’It’s just too difficult. Let’s just abandon the idea.'”

Urban hasn’t been to a drive-in show in a long, long time, he said, so he didn’t know that the new way of doing things is to turn your car around and so that the back is what’s facing the stage. “It actually resembled a tailgate party more than a drive in. And I thought, well, that’s really what we’re doing. Our fans have been doing tailgate parties forever before the concert. The only thing that’s changed is the tailgate party will now be the concert. We’ll just bring the stage out to them. They can just hang where they are.

“I think the (country) genre is built for it because of the tailgate party ethos that we already have naturally built into our audience. So they’re used to being in and around their cars with music cranked and kind of getting their own parking lot party going on. So I think that that’s very, very doable. Like I could perceive massive parking lots potentially at stadiums where you’ve got thousands and thousands of cars.”

And while there’s no follow-up show officially planned yet, Urban maintains that not playing is just not an option. “We’re going to figure it out. I’m not going to stay home,” he said.

“I tell you one thing, this has brought out an extraordinary creativity in a lot of people of how to do things, how to rethink the way we approach so much of what we do,” Urban added. “A lot of us have gotten crazy creative in the last few months.

“Necessity is the mother of invention.”

One of the last times Urban played for a crowd that was not socially distant at all was in November at the championship game of the Canadian Football League, the 2019 Grey Cup.

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