In the midst of a year that has brought so much heartache and uncertainty to the world, DJ superstar Alesso had one message: we will be together again. At the Road to Ultra: Taiwan festival, Alesso reached out with an emotional display that offered hope to fans and the world. 

Ultra Taiwan: A Path Forward for Music Festivals

From the beginning, Taiwan has been aggressive in it’s mitigation strategies for the COVID-19 pandemic. And their strict rules have paid off. In a country of over 23 million, Taiwan has been stunningly COVID-free for seven months. With only seven deaths and 550 cases, Taiwan is an example of how strict rules and decisive action could have mitigated the virus’s spread in other countries.

Live for Live Music explains, “A number of factors have played a role in Taiwan’s ability to prevent the virus from spreading (the island, population 23 million, has recorded 550 total cases and only seven deaths). A feature in Time attributed Taiwan’s success to closing borders early and strictly regulating travel; efficiently producing, stockpiling, and distributing protective masks; rigorous contact tracing and quarantine protocols; and the lasting cultural memory of the SARS outbreak which in 2003 killed ten times more people in the country than COVID-19 has this year.”

Because of the success of their containment strategies, Ultra Taiwan was able to move forward as planned, giving hope to an industry that was devastated by cancellation after cancellation.

Nearly 10,000 people attended Ultra Taiwan, which required masks but no social distancing. WeRaveYou shares, “10,000 people attended Ultra Taiwan, which seems insane in today’s climate, but there’s a certain glimpse of hope that has come with Road to Ultra. Never did we think we’d see events like this for a long time, if ever again, but Taiwan proved that we can get through this and festivals will prevail.”

Alesso Offers a Message of Togetherness

Alesso Ultra

Alessandro Renato Rodolfo Lindblad, known by fans as Alesso, used his time in front of thousands to send a message desperately needed in 2020. The 29-year-old DJ superstar displayed a light art installation that read, “together again.” As the words lit up, Alesso’s song, “Heroes,” played, and a heart encircled the message. 

Alesso shared an image of the message on his Intagram and captioned it, “WE WILL BE TOGETHER AGAIN! ❤️🙏🏼.”

The display was emotional and the crowd went wild. Even viewing it through the lens of time, space, and technology, it brings a tear to the eye. A memory of a freedom no one appreciated just 10 months ago; the freedom to attend a concert without fear. Alesso’s message promised a future where we’ve moved past the virus and we can come together again as a people to enjoy music, art, and all the wonderful things that define human existence. 

DJ Shenanigans 

Although the festival went off without a hitch, there was a tiny hiccup. Four of the DJs performing at Road to Ultra Taiwan broke the rules to come together. NME writes, “Taiwan News reported that, according to a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) spokesman, the four performers slipped out of their separate rooms at a quarantine facility to meet and rehearse for the show in a common area.

This flouted Taiwan’s ‘one room per person’ quarantine rule, and the four DJs were subsequently fined NT$10,000 each by the Taipei City Department of Health under Article 58 of the Communicable Disease Control Act.

Though the CECC did not name the offending DJs, Road To Ultra: Taiwan featured the international acts Alesso, Kayzo, Slander and Vini Vici. Taiwanese acts DJ Junior, DJ Pei and Ray Ray were also on the lineup.”

For breaking the rules, the unnamed DJs will be fined a nominal amount.

Hope For the Future

Alesso on stage

Hotel shenanigans aside, Ultra Taiwan was a breath of fresh air in a year beset by loss, heartache, uncertainty, and loneliness. The entire festival was a reminder that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With enough community effort, leadership, and dedication, it’s possible to move past the grip of the virus. Alesso’s message of hope was timely, perfect, and stirring. We will be together again, we will get there. 

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