Published Jul 14, 2020After being shuttered for four months now, Toronto venue REBEL has had to adapt to the new live music landscape as the world adjusts to coronavirus limitations. REBEL owners INK Entertainment recently announced plans to open the city's first drive-in venue later this week — and today, we got an exclusive sneak peek.
At the event held today at the Polson Street pier parking lot, INK music director Jonathan Ramos explained how everything will work at the new CityView Drive-In, beginning with contactless ticket scanning.
"You come in. You get your ticket scanned and you get ushered into your parking space. There will be reserved parking spaces that have been pre-sold," he said. "The lot itself holds 214 cars. We're allowing as many people in the car as they have seat belts."
Once inside, attendees will be able to roll down their windows to listen to the performance or tune into a dedicated radio station broadcasting audio from the stage. To ensure maximum safety, attendees will not be allowed to exit their vehicles except to use the washroom. For the time being, REBEL's washrooms will be the only ones available for CityView attendees, with sanitation protocols taking place every hour inside the building.
Much like Ontario Place's new drive-in theatre, CityView will also offer food and drink delivery through an app. Customers can order and pay online or use credit to pay with tap.
The venue is scheduled to open this Thursday (July 16) with a performance by Monster Truck. On Saturday (July 18), Allan Rayman will headline another live event. Later this summer, A Tribe Called Red will also perform.
"I think Toronto's done a great job of flattening the curve and getting ahead of it," Rayman said today at CityView. "When I found out that this was going on — that they would be able to put on shows in a safe and responsible way for people to enjoy — of course, I jumped on it. It's a whole new canvas."
In addition to its musical programming, INK Entertainment CEO Charles Kabouth said that more uses for CityView will be announced soon, including movies, festivals and even weddings.
"We've had some great leadership in Toronto and Ontario and Canada as a whole. And for that reason, we've been able to do what we're doing today," he said.
As previously reported, the CityView stage is a whopping 238 feet in size, with three LED screens. The venue also has a state-of-the-art sound system.
Check out a preview of the space below.