As many parts of the world continue to be ravaged by COVID-19, the New Zealand band Six60 played for a crowd of over 50,000 people at Eden Park rugby stadium in Auckland.
In New Zealand, social distancing isn’t required for the almost 5 million people who call the island nation home. Since last May, while the rest of the world was going through the first of many tough bouts with COVID-19, New Zealand maintained a seven-day average in cases of under 10 in most weeks.
“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,” said Six60 leader singer Matiu Walters. “But we are fortunate, for a few reasons here in New Zealand.”
The concert included appearances by military musicians who are set to honor those lost in war on Sunday, and Maori artists who performed by singing in the Indigenous language.
After living through multiple lockdowns in Britain, Six60 fan Lucy Clumpas was overjoyed to be gathered with people once again.
“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,”
This is not the first time Six60 performed in front of an audience. Over the summer, the band went on the road for a tour.
“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 very long and brutal year,” said Six60 guitarist Ji Fraser. “It was very special.”
In November, Six60 has plans to try once again and perform in front of bands in Europe after previous efforts to do that were sidelined by strict government restrictions prohibiting large gatherings.