Thousands of partygoers attend festival despite Covid threat

·News Editor
·2-min read

A five-day music festival with 10,000 attendees is underway in one European country, despite only 10 per cent of the population being vaccinated against Covid.

The Unum music festival in Albania was highly anticipated after being cancelled last year, with this year’s event given the green light following the country’s low contagion rate.

Albania recorded five new infections on Monday, though in the past month 718 cases were recorded along with 41 deaths.

People dance during the Unum Festival at Rana e Hedhun beach on June 5, 2021 in Shengjin, Albania.
The Unum Festival at Rana e Hedhun beach was sold out, with 10,000 attendees snapping up tickets to the country's first music festival for 2021. Source: AP

The Foreign Ministry noted there were no pandemic restrictions for anyone wanting to come to Albania, however its neighbouring countries haven’t fared nearly as well in their fight against coronavirus.

In particular, Greece has struggled to rein in its third wave of the virus, recording almost 50,000 cases and more than 1300 deaths in the past month alone.

Just five weeks ago, Greece set a new record for its number of deaths in one day, with 134 deaths on May 3.

Other neighbouring nations, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo have all reported between 1300 and 1600 cases in the past month.

Macedonia reported 379 deaths in the same period, according to John Hopkins data.

People gather during the Unum Festival at Rana e Hedhun beach on June 6, 2021 in Shengjin, Albania.
The festival was given the green light despite only 10 per cent of the population being vaccinated and a third Covid wave hitting neighbouring country, Greece. Source: AP

Festival organisers claimed that everyone at the festival was free of Covid but offered no proof for those claims and no virus checks were apparent, the Associated Press reported.

Organisers claimed every attendee would either have to be vaccinated or undergo a rapid Covid test before being allowed to enter.

Last year the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic. This year, organisers found it difficult to get musicians from around the Europe due to virus restrictions, but they prevailed.

Unum featured 50 international and local musicians at the event held at Thrown Sand beach, 75km northwest of the nation’s capital, Tirana.

with AP

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