If necessity is the mother of invention, an ambitious plan to bring a drive-in music festival to the Minute Maid Park parking lot fits the bill.
Metamorphosis is a new multiple stage, multi-act festival set for Saturday, June 13 between 7 to 11 pm. It will draw on multi-channel headphones technology made popular by silent disco events in which the attendee can select which performance to listen to at any given time. The makeshift festival grounds will allow for 350 vehicles configured between three stages.
Houston's live music scene has been stirring over the last few weeks as Governor Greg Abbott eases COVID-19 restrictions. Axelrad Beer Garden broke ground by hosting a drive-in rooftop concert last month. Other live music venues took the plunge by opening to limited capacity. Now, a group of local acts will band together to host their own event in Lot C of the empty Astros' home field.
The festival is the brainchild of Los Skarnales sax player, Chuy Terrazas, who knows firsthand how much musicians are hurting in the wake of thousands of canceled shows. He joined with friends in local bands to build the lineup. His ska-cumbia-reggae-punk group will perform alongside funk act, Bayou City Funk, the eclectic sounds of DJ I.V., the rock 'n roll-meets-funk of Lords of Kool, rap artist Guilla, and house-influenced electronic duo, NONC3NTS.
Tickets start at $50 per vehicle or $25 a person. Check in starts at 5:30 pm.
"This is all friends and how we can help each other," Terrazas tells CultureMap. "My musician friends haven't made any money the last two months. That's the beauty of this, it's not a concert promoter saying, 'Let curate this thing' This is community helping community."
Terrazas came up with the idea for the event after seeing similar events in Europe. As the owner of performance space Preston Theater next to Lot C of Minute Maid Park, Terrazas saw an opportunity to host a similar event in the expansive space. He teamed with sound and lighting company Limitless Lights and Sound, which has a history of organizing silent disco events where concert goers can toggle between different channels of mixes from different DJs spinning on stage.
The most interesting part of Metamorphosis is it will take the silent disco concept and take it to the live music festival space, a unique concept for an event of this magnitude. Each ticket holder will receive a sanitized set of headphones as they check in, then attendants will park their vehicle between three stages that feature simultaneous performances, each on different channels of the headsets. The Metamorphosis and Chrysalis stages will feature live bands and the Butterfly stage will have DJs.
"I don't think anyone has done this at a drive-in concert, where it's usually you watch a band on one stage," says Terrazas. "You'll have three stages that you get to watch, one in the center, and two on the sides. But they'll all be in your view and you flip between the bands and performers you want to listen to."
The idea to name the festival Metamorphosis came from the butterfly, an image found as a mural on the side of his Preston Theater space.
"Butterflies are a big theme because they represent evolving and growth. People started talking about us being shut-in during COVID was like being in a cocoon. We thought we'd call it Metamorphosis because it's tied to COVID and in metamorphosis, there are three stages, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly."
Attendees are permitted to bring their own snacks and beverages but food trucks will be on site. Patrons are required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing when outside their vehicle.
Thankfully, Terrazas plans on making Metamorphosis the first in a series of drive-in concerts, much needed for both music fans and struggling artists alike.
"For me, joy is gratitude and connectedness," Terrazas says. "You have to be grateful for what you have and but then you have to be connected too. For me, music is connectedness and for us, how can we connect safely?"