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Drive-in concert delivers live music as coronavirus rages in Indonesia

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

In Indonesia's capital, a drive-in concert by pop ensemble Kahitna took place during the night. The concert nearly took two hours and attracted hundreds of listeners, all while Indonesia is grappling with a surge in Corona virus infections, with its biggest daily increase in cases for a third straight day on Saturday.

People watch a drive-in concert by local pop band Kahitna during the New Live Experience series, at a parking area of the Jakarta International Expo, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

Jakarta is a city of 10 million and has recently recorded the highest daily increase in infections among Indonesian regions, with various restrictions on public transport and businesses. The country is grappling with a surge of infections and has already tallied about 170,000 infections and 7,261 deaths.

The adverse impact of the virus had forced musicians and their crews to adapt, said Adib Hidayat, who tracks music trends for the Indonesian industry.

“If the (drive-in) concept could have a strict protocol and a tight discipline from the audience, it could be one of the new breakthroughs,” he told Reuters.

The organisers of Saturday’s event said they had prioritised safety, asking listeners to provide negative test results and wear masks. Each car was also sprayed with disinfectant on arrival, and received a carbon dioxide detector to alert occupants to open their windows when levels of the toxic gas rose too high. The event drew a crowd of about 900 people in 300 cars, all of whom had to stay in their vehicles.

“This concert is an extraordinary initiative,” said one listener, a 45-year-old who gave her name only as Emilia.
“This is really good, especially when we don’t know when the pandemic will end.”

During the performance, the eight performers of Kahinta played tunes from their 1990 heyday, capitalising on their nostalgia, with audience members even honking and flashing their lights as the band launched into its hit tune, “Cerita Cinta” or “Love Story”.

That was a reminder of the good times before the coronavirus pandemic brought the music industry to a juddering halt, said Chaeruddin Syah, one of the concert organisers.

“Our economy has declined for four to five months, we have not worked at all and have not made any money,” Syah told Reuters.
“We hope this concert can provide solutions and inspiration to the entertainment industry.”


Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-indonesia-concert/indonesia-drive-in-concert-delivers-live-music-as-coronavirus-rages-idUSKBN25Q087