Wuhan music festival: thousands watch live acts as Covid-19 ebbs across China
During the May Day national holiday much of China returns to pre-pandemic conditions with the economy opening up
Thousands of people attended the first day of the Wuhan Strawberry Music Festival on Saturday.
In warm conditions on the first day of a five-day May Day national holiday revellers in the central Chinese city danced, bounced and screamed with delight as some of their favourite acts took the stage.
The festival was making a return in Wuhan after it was forced to be online only last year because of Covid-19 restrictions.
A representative for the organisers told Reuters that numbers were being restricted this year and about 11,000 people attended the event on Saturday.
Barriers were set up in front of each stage and security personnel restricted numbers in those areas.
Some spectators wore masks, but many did not.
People in Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged, lived through more than two months of stringent restrictions during the world's first coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Since then the city has been almost completely virus-free, according to official data. That and the general trend in recent months in the country, which has only reported a few sporadic outbreaks, has greatly eased fears in China about the virus.
"Last year we [in Wuhan] suffered from the coronavirus," said Gao Yuchen, a student in Wuhan.
"It has not been easy to get to where we are today. People here have put in huge efforts and paid a big price [for being hit with the virus]. So I feel very excited to be here," the 23-year-old said.
The two-day event brings together well-known and not so well-known domestic singers and bands across three stages in Wuhan's Garden Expo park.
Sister "Strawberry Music Festival" events are being held in other cities, including Beijing, during the national holiday.
Music lovers came to Wuhan from all over the country and among them was 29-year-old Zhang Hongkai, from Shijiazhuang in Hebei province.
"This is my first time at an event like this held outdoors," Mr Zhang said. "I really like the atmosphere."
Mainland China reported 16 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, down from 13 a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Saturday.
All the new cases were infections that originated overseas, the National Health Commission said.
The confirmed Covid-19 cases in mainland China now stand at 90,671, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636, many of whom were Wuhan residents.
China vaccinated about 11.6 million people against Covid-19 on Friday, bringing the number of those inoculated to more than 265 million, according to the National Health Commission data released on Saturday.
Updated: May 2, 2021 08:42 AM