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Taiwan revels in success of first post-Covid arena show

Native artist Eric Chou recently performed to a sold-out, full-capacity crowd at Taipei Arena, marking a return to normalcy for the country's live music scene

By IQ on 21 Aug 2020

Taipei Arena

Taipei Arena hosted the country's first post-Covid arena shows

image © Gene Wang/Wikimedia Commons

Taiwanese artist Eric Chou performed to a sold-out, full-capacity Taipei Arena (cap. 15,350) on 8 and 9 August, delivering Asia’s first post-Covid arena shows.

In July, the singer announced a series of four concerts in major arenas in Taiwan – including two upcoming dates at the 15,000-capacity Kaohsiung Arena on 5 and 6 September – which sold out in a quarter of an hour.

All attendees of the Tapei Arena shows were required to wear masks, undergo temperature checks upon entry, and provide identification that would facilitate contact tracing should the need arise. Pink medical masks and square alcohol wipes were provided.

“We were the first to do it during this Covid-19 situation, and there was a lot of preparation,” Chou told the South China Morning Post. “But the show went really well – every part was exactly like how I pictured it was going to be.”

The concerts come after the Taiwanese government lifted all limits on the number of people allowed to attend public gatherings, including cultural events, on 7 June, and removed the need for social distancing at concert halls and stadiums.

“The show went really well – every part was exactly like how I pictured it was going to be”

Taiwan has been praised worldwide for its response to the coronavirus crisis. The country, which has a population of more than 23 million, has recorded 479 cases of Covid-19 and only seven deaths. In early June, after no new locally transmitted cases were recorded for eight weeks, leading to the lifting of restrictions.

Taipei Arena has announced a number of concerts scheduled for the coming weeks, including Zhan Yawen’s 30th Anniversary Tour and the Folk 45 Summit.

The restart of arena shows comes following the Taiwan ministry of culture’s issuing of 2.1 million electronic cultural vouchers, worth NT$600 (€18) each, for tickets to concerts, art exhibitions and other cultural events, or to buy items at venues or culture-focused shops.

The NT$1.2 billion (€35.3m) programme aims to boost the cultural and arts sector and encourage people to attend cultural events as the Covid-19 situation subsides in Taiwan. The programme is expected to generate an estimated NT$5bn (€146.8m) for the sector.

Chou’s arena shows signal that Taiwan’s live music scene may return to something like normalcy sooner rather than later.

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