The Pattaya Music Festival is set to begin tonight… but don’t expect packed crowds and beer. Rather than the audiences squeezing tight to get close to the stage, last year, attendees sat in chairs with each seat placed a certain distance apart to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With Thailand still experiencing a wave of the coronavirus, the festival needed to pass an inspection by local officials to make sure the event followed Covid-19 safety protocols.
The festival will begin this afternoon on Pattaya Beach, and will continue over the next 4 weekends. Tonight features the Thai reggae band Job 2 Do, known for their song “Doo Doo Doo,” along with the rock band Labanoon and rapper URBOYTJ. It is the first big event in Pattaya since April, when Thailand was hit by its third wave of Covid-19 infections.
Many businesses around Pattaya have been closed and large gatherings have been mostly restricted for the past 7 months. But now, vaccination rates are at 70% in the Chon Buri province and are over 80% in Pattaya itself, according to the city mayor Sonthaye Khunplume.
The entertainment and bar industry is still shuttered, with restaurants not even being allowed to sell alcohol yet. Many in Pattaya have voiced their frustrations with the ban, especially considering that alcohol restrictions have started to be eased in other parts of the country. This also means that other types of events that can attract tourists, like this music festival, are especially important right now.
Mayor Sonthaya says he is confident that the event will be safe and successful, especially considering the heightened regulations in place. The event will obviously be alcohol free. The Beach Road will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 4pm to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays of the festival. Also the event will attempt to be socially distanced and spectators can’t stand but have to be seated. Food vendors and carts are also technically banned, although there will be some allowed around the Central Festival mall area.
SOURCE: Pattaya News
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