Against all odds, Marc Rebillet mounted a national concert tour in June 2020. Performing at drive-in venues from Maryland to Colorado and Texas to Ohio, the Dallas-based dance music star did some of the strongest business of his career, despite fans not being able to properly dance at his shows.
Rebillet played 12 concerts in nine cities, touring the nation from June 9-28. Venue capacity ranged from 350 to 600 cars, generally the same number of tickets he was selling in standing-room-only venues in 2019. But while the drive-in capacity (by number of cars) was similar to that of the clubs that Rebillet was playing last year, multiple passengers per car expanded his audience two-to-three times over. The tour operated on a two-ticket minimum per car and a four-ticket maximum, allowing each show’s gross to surge beyond his history in each market.
“Marc’s meteoric growth, not just in ticket sales, but also in his ability to increase ticket prices, was quantitively demonstrated on this tour,” Rebillet’s agents, Adam Ogushwitz and Christian Bernhardt at UTA, tell Billboard.
He further maximized his business by capitalizing on being one of the only games in town, boosting his typical $20 ticket to $40-50.
The tour began with two shows on June 9-10 at Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre in Baltimore. These two concerts combined a gross of more than $70,000 from 706 cars in attendance, according to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore. At $45 per ticket, the two-night stint reached approximately 1,565 fans. That’s a 30% increase over the attendance count of 1,200 and a 193% jump over the gross of $24,000 from last year’s Sept. 14 performance at Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club (Baltimore and Washington, D.C., are less than 40 miles apart and are commonly competitive markets on tour calendars).
Further, grosses in Columbus, Ohio ($36,765) and Kansas City (48,075) were six and ten times greater than earnings in the same cities in 2019, respectively.
Eleven of the 12 shows sold out to venue capacity. The only show that fell short? Rebillet’s June 20 performance at the Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the same night as President Trump’s socially un-distanced campaign rally. That event still packed in 409 cars and close to 950 people for a gross of $37,730.
In all, the run earned $523,000 from 4,927 cars in attendance. Billboard estimates that the tour reached a total of 12,132 fans, averaging 1,011 per night. That average attendance count is up 90% from Rebillet’s 2019 stint. Compounded by a surging ticket price, his average gross rose from $9,520 in 2019 to $43,622 for 2020’s drive-in tour, up 385% in just one year.
Rebillet’s music has accumulated 11.8 million on-demand streams, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. While that raw number towers over the attendance figures from his concerts, it is a minuscule fraction of totals by not only EDM giants like The Chainsmokers (6.9 billion) and Calvin Harris (4.8 billion), but also that of comparably mid-sized electronic touring acts like Allison Wonderland (217 million) and Slander (74 million).
Rather, Rebillet has fostered a sturdy fanbase mostly through YouTube, where he counts 753,000 subscribers and nearly 50 million global views. The specificity and loyalty of his online audience combined with the anomalous circumstances of being a working musician in 2020 has led to Rebillet’s greatest touring success yet, many times over.
“We’re certainly analyzing all the data to help us properly scale for his next year’s theater tour,” Ogushwitz and Bernhardt say.