For almost two years, Pattaya saw only sorrow and depression brought on by economic hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, so when the country opened to foreign tourists on Nov 1 and at the same time permitting local communities to organise celebrations and festivals, Pattaya’s mood changed to smiles of hope and a brighter future.
One of the first significant events organised is the Pattaya Music festival which would be held over 4 weekends. This festival is a welcome relief not only for the populace, but also for local businesses such as hotels, restaurants and recreation venues.
Not so happy are the bars and nightclubs owners who are still not allowed to open their establishments, with alcohol sales and consumption is still banned in restaurants.
The first two days of the Pattaya Music festival was held on Nov 5-6 which saw hundreds if not thousands of Thais and foreigners swarm into Pattaya to revel in the music and festivities.
The music festival was held at 3 venues, on the beach in north, central and south Pattaya. Though there were restrictions to the number of people who could go into the cordoned off area around the stage, thousands more enjoyed themselves in the open areas and along the beach.
As the music faded away late Saturday night and musicians left the stages, technicians got busy dismantling the sound equipment, packing them onto their trucks to be transported back to their home towns whence they came from.
This was a signal for the Pattaya sanitary department to start their engines and scour the grounds sweeping and picking up tons of garbage tossed away by the happy yet callous holiday makers.
The hardworking sanitary department workers who are accustomed to this kind of work, rolled up their sleeves and spent all day Sunday picking up plastic water bottles and cups not to mention heaps of plastic bags that food vendors use to pack Thai delicacies such as somtam, grilled chicken, sticky rice and meatballs off the beaches.
By Sunday evening, one could see that their back-breaking labour had made a big difference as the beach looked much cleaner than it did that morning, except for a few remnants of garbage buried in the sand or hidden in the cracks in the sidewalk.
The weather being very unpredictable these days the workers knew that they had to work fast before the rains came, which would definitely wash the garbage into the sea and make their work even more difficult, not to mention polluting our beaches and sea.
This is just the beginning of Pattaya’s festive weeks, as Part Two of the Pattaya Music Festival will erupt again on November 12-13 at the Jomtien Beach Sports Ground between Soi 7 & 8. A concert will also be held on Nuan beach on Koh Larn Island on November 13. Part Three will be held at Larn Pho Park in Naklua old market on Dec 3-4 and the final Part Four will be held again on Pattaya Beach on Dec 10-11.