A socially distanced Pattaya Music Festival filled the city with music and tourists for the weekend, although some had to watch the shows from the outside.
Chonburi Deputy Gov. Wiwat Mahapolsirikul opened the four-stage festival at the main Central Road venue Dec. 11 with Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome.
Each of the four stages – Central Road, Soi 4, Dusit Curve and Jomtien Beach – offered well-spaced seats and maximum capacities of 800 people, with more space left empty to allow music crews, police, security and photographers to move around. Masks were required, as was the use of hand-sanitizer.
Those not lucky enough to get a seat were kept outside the gates of each area, relegated to enjoying the music from the beach outside the fences.
Many of those attending lamented the circumstances surrounding this year’s festival, which had been delayed from the spring. Fans recalled past concerts, before the coronavirus outbreak and collapse of the Pattaya economy.
The festival still drew a wide selection of Thai pop, rock, hip-hop and reggae bands, and both beaches were full of stalls selling popular food. Hotels mostly were full – the Thai Hotels Association Eastern Chapter estimated about 80 percent – and local businesses enjoyed a short boom.
Attention now turns to the Pattaya Countdown, a three-day music and fireworks festival to be held Dec. 29-31 at Bali Hai Pier.