What exactly is a "pod rave?"
In May of this year, Relentless Beats was one of the first two promoters in the United States to announce the first drive-in rave. Fast forward 5 months later and promoters across the country are announcing their own Drive-In’s; but Relentless Beats has already moved beyond the concept. Kayzo and Adventure Club have both welcomed back ravers at Rawhide Pavilion with the first two weekends of what we can hope becomes a weekly Arizona staple during the remainder of the pandemic.
So what is a “pod”? And what is a “pod concert experience?”
As you can imagine, the pod rave is a step beyond just a traditional drive-in rave experience. At a traditional drive-in rave, the venue needs to account for spacing for cars, as well as taking on the risks associated with managing ingress and egress traffic. The cost of throwing a drive-in is also higher for promoters: with more physical space rental comes more expenses (and we all want expensive speakers!) At a pod rave, attendees park their car in a lot, complete a simple security search and then are assigned a first-come first serve-pod based on the ticket section purchased. Guests are required to wear a colored wristband which identifies their exact pod space. Because there are no cars, but the attendee capacity is the same, pods can be in closer proximity to one another: everyone is closer to the stage at a Pod rave.
What are some differences between Pod raves and Drive Ins?
Wear a mask at ALL events!
Both types of events are being held by responsible promoters and both require attendees to wear masks full time. Food, drinks and merch are available for delivery at most social-distancing events whether you are at a pod rave or a drive-in. Roaming beyond your designated spot is not allowed at either type of event. Drive-in raves and pod raves are also priced similarly. Like we have seen with drive-in raves, prices are tiered according to how close you want to be to the stage. Each ticket price is per pod, so admission includes up to 5 people per ticket; Relentless allowed up to 3 additional tickets for the same pod to be purchased at the door, allowing 8 guests per pod. Take note that your spot in the row is first-come first-serve from the middle outward, so make sure to arrive early for a more centralized viewing location! In both cases, you can usually pay more for a front-row VIP experience (front row at the pod raves come with furniture!)
Pod raves do not necessarily require ravers to drive themselves home from the venue. Uber and Lyft pick-up options are available outside of the venue. You could also arrange a pick up or drop off from a family member or a friend. At Rawhide, ravers can also park for free! While it is important to ALWAYS have a sober designated driver, having free on-site parking allows the squad driver to pace themselves when exiting the venue and gathering their friends. This causes less overall exit traffic when leaving the venue as drivers are not all congested into one exit point. You can leave a pod rave at any time: you are not confined to traffic laws within the event to prevent you and your crew from exiting early. With off-site parking also comes unlimited parking spaces! Everyone can arrive to the venue in separate cars and park themselves (making it MUCH easier for locals attending with friends!). Meet-up in the parking lot with your #PodSquad before heading inside!
Pod raves are more restricted in the types of items guests can bring inside. At a drive-in rave, guests have the benefit of using their car to transport anything they would need to maximize their attendee experience. At a drive-in rave you will impressive set-ups; some as much as entire camp sites. You aren’t necessarily able to do this logistically at a pod rave. At a Pod rave, there is still some level of minimal security search. Clear Bags are required for the Relentless Beats Pod Concerts and guests are permitted to bring unlimited sealed containers of water.
So where can I find a pod rave?
As of October 2020, there are still very few pod raves in the United States, as each state has differing guidelines for social distancing. Pod-type events are traditionally extremely small, with less than 500 tickets available in total. Relentless Beats and Insomniac have been leading the industry in producing these new types of innovative events, so keep an eye out for events by those promoters popping up in warm weather territories.
For the latest list of social-distancing events, check out this link!
Pooja Shah is an LA-Based IT Consultant and the FestivalAddicts Website monkey. When she’s not posting articles, playing video games, or headbanging to the latest Lost Lands Compilation Album, you can follow her festival adventures on Instagram @Pooja_Shahnanigans!