Taipei upstages Wuhan with huge EDM festival after coronavirus success

25,000 at Taipei S20 festival far exceeds pool party in Wuhan thanks to success containing coronavirus

S20 Taiwan Songkran Music Festival. (Facebook, @S2OTaiwan photo)

S20 Taiwan Songkran Music Festival. (Facebook, @S2OTaiwan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Having brought local cases of the Wuhan coronavirus under control over four months ago, Taipei threw a huge two-day electronic dance music (EDM) festival over the weekend, putting Wuhan's notorious pool party to shame.

Despite being ground zero for the worst pandemic in a century and as floods raged in China, the city of Wuhan threw a massive pool party at Wuhan Maya Beach Park on Aug. 15, drawing the ire of many around the world, which is still being ravaged by the virus. Although new local cases of the virus had been officially reported as recently as May, city leaders saw fit to allow over 3,000 swimmers to crowd together for a concert without any social distancing measures or face masks.

The move was widely criticized, as it appeared that the country was gloating over its "victory" over the coronavirus while much of the rest of the world struggled to contain new outbreaks. Given Beijing's opaqueness when it comes to reporting local cases since the start of the pandemic, many have questioned the "official" numbers being reported and China's ability to truly achieve "zero" local infections for weeks on end.

Taiwan, on the other hand, has been highly transparent with each new case and even cases of travelers leaving Taiwan who test positive for the virus after they arrive in foreign countries. On Aug. 27, Taiwan released the results of antibody tests on 4,841 residents of Changhua County, which had one of the highest local infection rates in the country early on, and only four high-risk people were found to have antibodies for the disease.

Given the fact that Taiwan has not detected a new local infection in 148 days, greater than New Zealand's widely trumpeted but erstwhile record of 102 days, the organizers of the S2O Taiwan Songkran Music Festival were confident about the safety of holding a massive EDM festival at Taipei's Dajia Riverside Park.

(@S20Taiwan photo)

The festival, which took place from Saturday (Sept. 5) to Sunday (Sept. 6), combined the water-splashing of the Thai Songkran water festival with EDM beats. According to organizers, the event was the "world's first water splashing music festival" and drew over 80 artists and more than 25,000 concertgoers, far surpassing the 3,000 seen in Wuhan.

The international lineup included the Netherlands' DJ Mike Williams and Spain's Danny Avila, both of whom underwent 14 days of quarantine before performing. In addition, the venue on day 1 used high-tech 3D imaging technology to present a "virtual set" of the top 100 DJs around the world, including Israel's duo Vini Vici, the Netherlands' Afrojack, and Germany's Paul van Dyk.

(@S20Taiwan photo)

Day 2 featured Taiwanese rappers, such as Lin Zhi-Rong (林志融), who goes by the stage name Marz23. Lin is a Golden Melody Award winner and the lead singer of TRASH樂團.

The main stage also included virtual performances by Don Diablo from the Netherlands and Kaskade from the U.S.

After entering the venue, concertgoers passed by "Sukhumvit Road" where they could receive Thai massages and watch Muay Thai performances. There was also a "Ratchada Train Night Market" where visitors could enjoy a variety of Thai snacks and desserts.

(@S20Taiwan photo)

(@S20Taiwan photo)

The "Chatuchak Weekend Market" sold an array of party gadgets, while inflatable animals could be viewed at the "Bangkok Zoo."

(@S20Taiwan photo)

Video showing highlights from Day 1:

Video posted of the event on Sept. 6:

Video showing Mike Williams performing on stage in Taipei: