Since the start of the pandemic, all most artists have wanted to do is perform live in front of an in-person audience again. That sort of thing isn’t happening in the US right now, but it is down in New Zealand: 20,000 people recently attended a concert in the country with no social distancing measures in place. On January 3, Earthgang was the only American act to perform at New Zealand festival Bay Dreams, and now they’ve spoken about how that experience felt.
In an interview with Billboard, Earthgang’s Olu (aka Johnny Venus) said, “It was ecstatic. It had literally been months since we’d been in front of thousands of people. Then we actually got a chance to do it again, be in front of the people and really vibe with them, and that energy’s insane. It was amazing, it was magical. It was a reminder of how magical it can be.”
They were asked about what the pre-concert quarantine process was like (which took place during Christmas), and WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot) described it as strict, saying:
“Yeah, that was an interesting quarantine. […] They had us like all in separate hotel rooms. And it was like military outside. We got the COVID test about three, four times [a week] maybe. Like every two days, they would do another test. It was a very serious process. After a while, it got a little maddening to be just staying in one building. You can’t even go outside and have a little peep of land for a little while.”
When questioned about how many safety measures festivalgoers had to take, WowGr8 responded, “Zero! There’s zero COVID measures. The government took all the measures when they made us quarantine inside, and they took all the measures earlier in 2020, when they actually shut down the country. When we got outside, the only people who had masks on were Uber drivers and people who worked at hotels, and that was only in some of the cities. Everybody else did not have a mask on unless they just wanted to, but no, you did not have to have a mask on. You did not have to socially distance. Of course, hygiene is always a focus, so they had hand sanitizer stations and things like that available. But other than that, nothing.”
Find the full interview here.