The Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khunplume, and his team of deputy mayors and city officials conducted a final assessment and inspection of the Pattaya Music Festival last night, November 4th, 2021 on Pattaya Beach.
The music festival is set to have its first big day today, November 5th, 2021, with many Covid-19 precautions and rules in place. This will be the first major event in Pattaya since April of this year when following a rise in Covid-19 cases and low vaccination rates the country essentially entered strict business closures and restrictions to slow the spread of the virus.
Seven months later, with vaccination rates in Chonburi over 70% and in Pattaya, according to the Mayor, over 80%, the city is ready to resume events to attract domestic and foreign tourists. Unfortunately, the nightlife, entertainment, and bar industry remain closed and alcohol can not be sold at restaurants due to orders from the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, at the national level. This order has led to widespread frustration and anger from business owners but despite the repeated complaints and pleas to reopen, they have fallen on deaf ears so far.
Specific reasons for the ongoing ban in Pattaya, arguably one of the most famous nightlife spots in Thailand, even though places like Phuket and Krabi have seen some easing of the rules, have not been given by the CCSA.
Regardless of complaints from local business owners, the music festival will go on and Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Khunplume was confident the event would be a success. The final inspection last night reportedly went well. Some of the things to be aware of:
-The event is alcohol-free (unsurprisingly) in stage areas. This was actually a rule before Covid-19 at prior music festivals. As for outside the stage areas, technically the beach and walking around with alcohol has been enforced during the Covid-19 situation and against current rules, although law enforcement officials have admitted it will be “difficult” to enforce people purchasing from convenience stores and drinking. That being said, if caught, fines or arrest could apply.
-Beach Road will be closed to traffic from 4:00 PM to 1:00 AM today and tomorrow, November 6th, 2021.
-This is the first of four scheduled weekends in total through December for the music festival. This weekend features three stages located near the Dusit hotel, by Central Pattaya Klang, and in front of the Royal Garden Mall.
-Stage areas will be seating only and socially distanced.
-Masks must be worn at all times.
-The event reserves the right to check to ensure those attending are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 entering stage areas. Vendors and artists are required to take ATK tests to work/participate. Those staying on Beach Road and the beach do not have to be checked.
-Drones are banned (has been a rule long before Covid-19)
-Food vendors and carts are technically banned in the event areas. There may be some set vendors, especially around Central Festival.
-Artists of interest for this first night include rapper UrboyTJ, Thai Reggae group Job to Do, and Labanoon.