Uber Helps Bring Back the English National Opera With a Socially Distant Drive-in

For those who don't own vehicles, the app is renting out cars to watch from

Uber is providing cars so that people in London can watch the opera from a safe distance. Uber / Hope&Glory PR
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LONDON—Thanks to many venues being shut down due to Covid-19, life has been pretty dull without the usual line-up of music concerts, festivals, and movie rips. But thankfully for opera fans, Uber has found a way to get people back to watching a live show together, safely.

With its usual home closed as a result of lockdown restrictions, the English National Opera has created a drive-in opera experience in London so that people can still go to its theater shows–but at a safe distance from other audience members.

And for fans who don’t drive their own vehicles, Uber has stepped in to offer the “Uber Box”–a range of 10 cars that seat four and can be booked for the cost of 100 pounds ($127.59), with the promise of being “the best seats in the house.”

Performances of the opera, Puccini’s “La bohème,” will take place at north London’s Alexandra Palace until Sept. 27.

High-quality stereo sound will be projected into the parking lot, while audience members can tune in directly using their car stereo or a portable stereo.

“London wouldn’t be the great global city it is without our fantastic arts and culture,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern & and eastern Europe.

“Lockdown has left many unable to access the venues they love, so Uber wants to help by bringing them the best that English National Opera has to offer at Alexandra Palace. English National Opera ‘Drive and Live’ performances are a fantastic way to make opera safe and accessible in these difficult times, and we hope the Uber Boxes will appeal to young people who don’t own a car.”

Stuart Murphy, English National Opera CEO, added: “This partnership with Uber will make English National Opera’s world premiere drive-in opera accessible to everyone, whether or not they have a car. As English National Opera ‘Drive and Live’ involves a physical performance and is more than just a screening, we expect demand to be unprecedented.


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@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.
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