Rock festival with Guns N’Roses goes ahead in Mexico City despite coronavirus pandemic


Authorities around the globe have cancelled concerts and sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Mexico City went ahead with one of the most important music festivals in the country over the weekend.

Vive Latino took place on 14 and 15 March. Some acts backed out, but tens of thousands of music fans flocked on Saturday to the first day of the festival. Organisers said more than 70,000 tickets had been sold for each of the festival’s two days.

At the entrance, the usual security checks for such events had a new component: Each person entering was checked for fever and a strong smell of antibacterial gel permeated in the air.

But once past that, the dynamics of the festival were not much changed. People walked excitedly towards the various stages and crowded together for the performances.

Guns N’ Roses performed as planned on Saturday.

The band shared a teaser advertising its performance ahead of time on social media. Many responded to the video asking them to cancel the gig, urging them to “be a part of the solution”.

Fan footage shows the Guns N’ Roses on stage on Saturday performing a rare live rendition of “So Fine” – their first since 1993.

Mexico’s health ministry reported more coronavirus cases on Sunday, urging people to maintain a “healthy distance” to avoid infection, even as the president held rallies in the country, shaking hands with and hugging dozens of people.

In contrast to the United States and much of Central America, Mexico has not imposed significant travel curbs to fight coronavirus, opting for a less intrusive approach.

Still, on Saturday, officials at the health ministry began ramping up measures aimed at containment, setting out an initiative known as “Sana Distancia” (Healthy Distance) to encourage the public to avoid infecting each other.

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The health ministry said the Sana Distancia program would take effect for four weeks starting on 23 March as the government brought forward Easter holidays to close schools early.

“It’s social distancing, it’s about distance to keep us healthy,” Ricardo Cortes, a health ministry official said in a Sunday evening news conference that announced Mexico’s tally of coronavirus infections had risen to 53 from 41 a day earlier.

Additional reporting by agencies