Thousands of Chinese revellers are attending a music festival in Wuhan, the city where the Covid-19 outbreak began.
The Wuhan Strawberry Music Festival kicked off on Saturday, which was also the beginning of the five-day May Day national holiday in China.
Crowds danced, bounced and screamed with delight as some of their favourite acts took to the stage.
A representative for the organisers said that around 11,000 people attended the festival on Saturday, adding that numbers were restricted.
The festival was making a return to Wuhan after it was forced to be online only last year due to Covid-19 measures.
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.
Wuhan residents lived through more than two months of restrictions during the world’s first coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Since then, the city has been almost completely virus free, according to official data.
That, along with the general trend in recent months in China, which has only reported a few sporadic outbreaks, has greatly eased fears in the country about the virus.
‘Last year we [in Wuhan] suffered from the coronavirus,’ 23-year-old student and Wuhan resident Gao Yuchen said.
‘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 [at the festival],’ Gao 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 events are being held in other cities, including Beijing, during the national holiday.
Attendees came to Wuhan from all over the country, like 29-year-old Zhang Hongkai, from Shijiazhuang in Hebei province.
‘This is my first time at an event like this held outdoors,’ Zhang said. ‘I really like the atmosphere’.
The music festival is not the first large-scale event to be held in Wuhan in the last year.
In October, crowds poured into an amusement park in the city to attend a Halloween event featuring a parade and other amusements.
Some revellers swapped face masks for spookier options and there was no sign of social distancing as people posed for photos together and queued to see a Halloween show.
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 imported infections originating overseas, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 90,671, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,636, many of whom were Wuhan residents.
China carried out about 11.6 million vaccinations against COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number administered to more than 265 million, according to data released by the National Health Commission on Saturday.