Last Saturday night, Argentines enjoyed the first concert of its kind in South America since the outbreak of the coronavirus, as it was billed by the organisers. As the pandemic surges in one the worst-hit countries in Latin America, Argentina follows Indonesia's drive-in concert formula.
A drive-in theatre on the banks of La Plata River on the outskirts of the capital Buenos Aires was created for a performance by Coti Sorokin and his band Los Brillantes, with strict health protocols during the event.
The rules stipulated that attendees undergo temperature checks and stay in their vehicles. During the concert, Coti descended from the stage to play directly in front of the cars but maintained a safe distance in keeping with the health rules set by the municipality of San Isidro, a chic suburban neighbourhood.
With 471,806 cases and 9,739 deaths as of Saturday, Argentina remains one of the worst-hit countries in Latin America. The country loosened movement restrictions, allowing restaurants to operate outdoors and the entertainment industry to resume some events, despite the continued outbreak.
The hour-and-a-half concert, with capacity for 60 cars, saw applause replaced by car horns and the glow of cellphones replaced by the blaze of headlights.
Coti, 47, an Argentine rocker celebrated for collaborations with other Latin stars including Mexico’s Julieta Venegas, told his audience;
“We can’t stop making music.”
He also performed well known hits like; “Before Seeing The Sun” and “Again”, Coti debuted “Out There,” a song he described as his “quarantine hymn” since it created during the pandemic.
“It is so exciting to be able to see this, to have real contact rather than virtual, with the backdrop of the river on a cool but beautiful day,”
said Nicolas Magaldi, a 33-year-old television presenter who attended with his wife and young son.
Event organiser Marcelo Mazzini told Reuters the concert was a first on the continent since the outbreak and he hoped the event would help kickstart the battered entertainment industry.