I feel that I am the official McDonald's reporter for TMT, since the fast food Goliath is always doing something revolutionary with music, and I am the one who notices just how quick Ronald McDonald is to "jam" with the kids. You could call it good PR or foolishness, but McDonald's will be embarking on the first ever free, live musical tour to be presented in parking lots. Yeah, you heard it correctly. It sounds like a ridiculous idea straight from Happy Days. But will Fonzie jump the shark?
McDonald's already has jumped the metaphorically frightening shark by hosting a free 10-city tour with performances from Ne-Yo, Kenna, Kat DeLuna, The Dey, Single File, Twista, and Kevin Michael. (What, no Fall Out Boy?) Douglas Freeland, director of U.S. marketing at McDonald's, has said that he knows that music is young peoples' number one passion. Their second passion is, of course, herpes-infested apple pies.
Not all performances will be at McDonald's parking lots, as the first show, being launched July 26, will be a performance of Ne-Yo and Kenna at California's Venice Beach Recreation Center (a cleaner place than a parking lot). The next stops will be Denver featuring Single File, Chicago with Twista, Philadelphia with Kevin Michael, and Bloomfield, NJ with Kat DeLuna and The Dey. The tour will sizzle over September 25 in Austin, TX, with additional artists to be announced.
Between 500 and 1,500 McMusic Lovers will be admitted to each free show on a first-come, first-serve basis, which is just the same treatment as being a regular customer. A stage will be set up in the middle of each McDonald's parking lot with on-site security and barricades to block off the area. The shows will begin at approximately 6:30 PM, according to Freeland. Each concert will be filmed and later posted on MCDLive.com, where fans can then vote for their favorite artist to be featured in a McDonald's 2008 advertising campaign.
So there you have it. It may be Chicago's first chance to see and hear Twista rap the Big Mac song faster than a Cheetah on speed. And this may be your first chance to hear live music in a McDonald's parking lot. And no, listening to Uncle Jethro blasting Europe's "The Final Countdown" on his El Camino speakers does not count as a live parking lot performance. Oh, and I'll be honest now, so that I don't get sued. I was lying about the herpes infesting McDonald's' apple pies. The truth is, I wanted them all to myself. The truth is, I'm a very sad, little man.