Two of the biggest-selling acts in contemporary Christian music have included Monetta – yes, THAT Monetta (population 235)- in the list of towns on a “Drive-In Theater Tour” announced earlier today.
Newsboys United and TobyMac unveiled the schedules Friday afternoon for the two bands’ return to live touring after the COVID-19 shutdown. The “Big Mo” is listed on both artists’ itineraries for performances scheduled in June and July.
TobyMac & the Diversecity Band, known for its brand of Christian hip-hop that has sold 10 million albums, is scheduled to perform Tuesday, June 23 in Monetta. TobyMac has won seven Grammy Awards for his Christian recordings and most recently hit the Christian music charts with his single, “21 Years.”
“A few Saturday nights every summer my family and I head to a local drive-in movie theater. We always love it,” said TobyMac in a release from the tour’s Nashville-based promoter, Awakening Events. “When we started discussing live shows in this quarantine season and the idea of playing drive-ins came up… I said, let’s gooooo! It feels like summer, safe for everybody, and we all get to enjoy live music again. We ’bout to make some memories.”
Newsboys United, a touring Christian rock group from Australia with co-lead singers Michael Tait and Peter Furler, are scheduled to perform in Monetta on Tuesday, July 7. The group has collected 34 chart-topping No. 1 hits on the Christian music charts, including most recently “Guilty, “We Believe” and the theme song from the film, “God’s Not Dead” (in which the Newsboys appeared on-screen).
“We are so excited to be able to come and play to fans all across America,” said Michael Tait in a release from Awakening Events. “COVID-19 has changed all of our lives, but through it, we have learned that love is patient and love is kind. Now we have the opportunity to come together safely and express our love for our Creator who has been with us through these trying times.”
According to the “Drive-In Theater Tour” website, the event will be “the first of its kind tour in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Developed to allow artists the chance to perform while also respecting social distancing guidelines keeping fans safe, the Drive-In Theater Tour is a first step in returning to normal. Beyond that, it’s going to be a lot of fun, with a return to simpler times when drive-in movie theaters were king.”
Originally opened in 1951, the Monetta Drive-In remains one of the few remaining operational drive-in theaters in the country. According to Cinema Treasures online magazine, the drive-in closed in 1986 but was sold and reopened in 1999. During spring, summer and fall months, “The Big Mo” runs double-features of first-run theatrical releases on each of its three screens and can accommodate up to 250 cars.
According to the tour website, tickets to the TobyMac and Newsboys concerts are being sold by the carload with up to six people in each vehicle. Tickets closest to the stage, which will be set up at Screen 1 at The Big Mo, are priced between $100-$175 per carload. (That’s around $16-29 per person with a full car.)
The concert also will be broadcast live on Screens 2 and 3 at the drive-in, with no view of the live stage, and those tickets are priced at $75 per carload. (That’s $12.50 per person with a full car.)
More information on the two Christian concerts scheduled at the Monetta Drive-In (located at 588 Columbia Hwy., Monetta) is available at the tour’s official website.