, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert

A band in New Zealand played to a cowed of 50,000 fans on Saturday, while much of the world remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The five-piece group has been playing to huge crowds on its tour of the country where social distancing isn’t required after the nation all but stamped out the coronavirus with its stringent lockdown measures.

The band’s tour finale on Saturday night was billed as the largest concert in the world since the beginning of the pandemic, which has devastated live music industries, as well as other forms of entertainment in front of live crowds.

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

A band in New Zealand played to a cowed of 50,000 fans on Saturday (pictured), while much of the world remains in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic

Pictures from the event at Auckland’s Eden Park stadium showed Singer Matiu Walters grinning as he gazed out over tens of thousands damp but delirious fans, and asking: ‘So, what’s up Eden Park?’ 

One fan, Lucy Clumpas, found it a surreal experience to be surrounded by so many people after she spent last year living through endless lockdowns in Britain.

‘It’s very important for us as humans to be able to get together and sing the same songs together,’ she said. ‘It makes us feel like we’re part of something.’ 

And finding themselves at the apex of world music came as a twist for Six60, which has enjoyed unparalleled success in New Zealand but whose forays abroad have ended without the breakthroughs they sought.

Saturday’s set by the band included powerful cameos by military musicians ahead of the nation honoring its war dead on Sunday, and Maori performers who stretched across the stage while the band switched to singing in the Indigenous language. 

Equally momentous for a band which met while playing rugby at university was getting to play the first concert ever held at the storied Eden Park rugby stadium. 

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Fans react as band Six60 perform at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, April 24, 2021. The concert was billed as the world’s largest since the pandemic began

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

The five-piece group has been playing to huge crowds on its tour of the country where social distancing isn’t required after the nation all but stamped out the coronavirus with its stringent lockdown measures. Pictured: The view from the rooftop of Eden Park

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Six60’s tour finale on Saturday night was billed as the largest concert in the world since the beginning of the pandemic, which has devastated the live music industry, as well as other forms of entertainment in front of live crowds

Walters, the lead singer, said they desperately want their musician friends around the world to be able to play live shows again.

‘We know what it’s like to be in lockdown. It sucked. And we didn’t know if we’d be able to play gigs again,’ he said in an interview before the show. ‘But we are fortunate, for a few reasons, here in New Zealand.’

Guitarist Ji Fraser said the reception they received while on the road for their summer tour had been incredible.

‘It was amazing to see how fanatical people were, and excited about being out and seeing live music, and seeing something to drag them out of a long, brutal year,’ he said. ‘It was very special.’

Walters said they did worry that something could have gone wrong – that their gigs could have turned into super-spreader events. But he said there was not much to do other than play by the rules and follow the government guidelines.

The band formed thirteen years ago after they started jamming in their rugby changing rooms, making their concert at the hallowed ground of the nation’s All Blacks rugby team feel like completing a circle.

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Pictures from the event at Auckland’s Eden Park stadium showed Singer Matiu Walters grinning as he gazed out over tens of thousands damp but delirious fans

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Saturday’s set by the band included powerful cameos by military musicians ahead of the nation honoring its war dead on Sunday, and Maori performers who stretched across the stage while the band switched to singing in the Indigenous language

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times
, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

‘So, what’s up Eden Park?’ Matiu Walters, Lead singer of New Zealand band Six60 performs at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, April 24, 2021

The band had pushed for changes to civic rules to allow concerts at Eden Park, but not all the neighbors were happy.

One who objected was former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who said at the time that the concerts would represent a ‘home invasion’ of noise.

‘But the people wanted it. And the people spoke,’ Walters said. The singer added that Clark would have been welcomed at the concert. ‘Six60 is for everyone. And maybe if she came and enjoyed herself, she’d have a change of heart.’

Promoter Brent Eccles said they got permission to use the venue only at the last moment. ‘And we thought to ourselves, well, how crazy are we?’ he said. ‘And the answer was, well, pretty crazy. So let’s do it.’ 

Countries were forces to cancel or postpone live events due to coronavirus – a respiratory disease – spreading between people in close proximity to one-another.

As a result, music fans in most countries have been unable to attend live music performances of their favourite artists for over a year, which will continue to be the case in most countries into 2021 as Covid-19 continues to limit gatherings.

Pollstar, a trade magazine for the concert industry, estimated that the live music industry lost more than $30 billion in 2020. 

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

The band had pushed for changes to civic rules to allow concerts at Eden Park, but not all the neighbors were happy. One who objected was former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who said at the time that the concerts would represent a ‘home invasion’ of noise

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

The small island nation of around 5 million people has been hailed for its successful fight against coronavirus, having essentially eradicated the disease

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Pictured: Corporate boxes start to fill up as New Zealand band Six60 perform at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, April 24, 2021

The small island nation of around 5 million people has been hailed for its successful fight against coronavirus, having essentially eradicated the disease.

Out of the almost 3.1 million people who have died as a result of Covid-19 around the world, just 26 have been from New Zealand, which has also registered a remarkably low number of cases – just 2,600 – as of April 24, 2021.  

The country has taken a similar approach to neighbouring Australia in tackling the deadly virus, locking regions down quickly for days in response to even the smallest outbreak.

This approach was seen in Australia on Friday when millions of people in Western Australia were plunged into a three-day lockdown after just two cases of coronavirus were recorded.

After Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan made the announcement of the lockdown, New Zealand put all travel with Western Australia on hold, and an Air New Zealand flight due to leave Perth on Friday was cancelled.

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

, New Zealand is the envy of the world as more than 50,000 music fans gather for rock concert, The Nzuchi Times

Out of the almost 3.1 million people who have died as a result of Covid-19 globally, just 26 have been from New Zealand, which has also registered a remarkably low number of cases – just 2,600 – as of April 24, 2021

‘As set out in our trans-Tasman bubble protocols, travel between New Zealand and Western Australia has been paused, pending further advice from the state government,’ New Zealand COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. 

This came after an air corridor was opened earlier this month between the two countries allowed people to travel without the need for mandatory testing or quarantine. 

‘Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,’ New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said when announcing the travel bubble on April 6. ‘People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.’

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