Following a debacle last weekend in which the popular Big Mountain Music Festival was canceled on its second day, restarted and then shut down early the Ministry of Public Health is stressing that upcoming New Year Festivals and countdowns must meet all Covid-19 regulations and control crowds.
You can read about the Big Mountain Music Festival in Nakhon Ratchasima here. The event saw an estimated crowd of 50,000 attend and although many appeared to be wearing masks social distancing was clearly an issue. Some festival attendees claimed the shutdown of the event was political, following several artists making political statements on stage, however, the Ministry of Public Health insists it was based on clear social distancing violations and lack of some people wearing masks.
Regardless of the reasoning, the event has caused Thai authorities to double down on ensuring that the upcoming new year festivities are done safely. Although Thailand has had very few cases of Covid-19 locally spread in the past nine months (none in Pattaya), the concern from medical officials is that illegal migrants who have possibly crossed the border from Myanmar may have the disease and could spread it in the country.
Pattaya has held events nearly every weekend for the past several months safely, some with significant crowds, although have shown they can strengthen Covid-19 measures The Pattaya News notes. The fireworks festival saw significant crowds and many not social distancing but vast improvement was seen with the recent music festival with clear checkpoints, hand washing stations and limited seating in concert areas. The upcoming New Years Countdown at Bali Hai, which includes major artists like Bodyslam, Da Endorphine and Carabao is expected to be a similar situation to avoid crowds of thousands pressing into concert areas.
Pattaya City Officials have also said that masks will be mandatory for the New Year Countdown events and there will be multiple temperature checkpoints, hand washing stations and officials helping to enforce social distancing.
Pattaya is holding a three day countdown event which is considered the biggest event of the year.