It’s been a rough year for airlines. Following United’s now infamous passenger-dragging incident and several more upsetting instances since (Southwest Airlines, for instance, was accused of discrimination by actress AnnaLynne McCord), air companies are scrambling to add incentives for customers. Delta, for one, is offering free bubbly to its international flyers. Now, Southwest is following suit, having teamed up with Warner Music Nashville (WMN) for a unique concert series that will take place in right in the sky.
First introduced in 2011, the Live at 35 inflight concert series, which sees country artists, as well as those with a knack for playing acoustic sets, playing mid-air for unsuspecting passengers, has just officially been extended. The experience is part of a two-way deal that sees WMN artists choosing Southwest as their preferred airline thanks to “artist-friendly amenities like flexible flight-changing options and free checking for suitcases and guitar cases.”
To celebrate the announcement, Atlantic Records/WMN artist Devin Dawson was asked to play his debut single, “All on Me,” as well as a couple of other tracks from his upcoming first album, Dark Horse, to a full plane traveling from Nashville to Philadelphia. As the young artist, who also handed out souvenir guitar picks and CDs, explained to Billboard after landing, the series is all about bringing joy. “You know, some people don’t really enjoy flying; some people get very nervous and don’t like it,” he said. “I hope that something like this [performance] is just a cool surprise for some [passengers] that helps them forget about their everyday woes, and I’ll just play a couple of songs to make them smile.”
If the above video is any indication, folks seemed pleasantly surprised by the viral moment, despite skeptics on Twitter who have gone as far as to call Live at 35 “the worst idea I have ever heard.”
A spokesperson for the airline noted that the performances are planned carefully, saying, “we take into account the time of day and the type of travel.” She also pointed out that passengers were eager to capture the potentially viral moments, “taking out their phones and iPads” as soon as the surprise set started.
If you’re excited about seeing your first inflight mini concert, though, it’s important to note that the airline only plans to host 20 of these unique shows per year, which amounts to about 0.002 percent of their one million-plus flights.
We’ll definitely be keeping our fingers crossed that 2018 is our year!
Mid-flight concerts: Cool or annoying? Tweet us @BritandCo.
(Photo via Scott Olson/Getty)