JOHANNESBURG – AFP
It’s a nascent urban craze spawned by the coronavirus pandemic lockdown that has shut down nightclubs in South Africa, the hardest-hit country on the continent.
President Cyril Ramaphosa last week relaxed national restrictions on Covid-19 to the lowest level on record, allowing for larger gatherings.
“People are (still) reluctant to enter clubs and indoor spaces, even though it is now allowed,” said organizer Franck Leya, 27.
“Being an open place like this is not a club… everyone is out there, and there is automatically a certain level of social distancing without obviously having to tell people,” he said. declared.
One Sunday per month, revelers dance the day away in the open air while taking in 360-degree panoramic views of the city from Northcliff Ridge Ecopark, one of Johannesburg’s highest points.
Dancing with three friends, Jacqueline Jennings breathed a sigh of relief that she could finally enjoy a fun day after nearly 18 months of confinement.
“It’s like we’ve never party before, it’s so good to be outside,” said the 42-year-old guest lodge owner. “It’s like being on top of the garden of God.”
“Silent disco is divine, it’s the most beautiful house music,” she said, adding that it’s “a big pretty” using South African slang for clubbing or partying. .
Gordon Sekome, 25, who works for an audit firm was walking through the quiet park with his partner when they saw people dancing, but no loudspeakers around.
“I was wondering ‘why do they all have the same brand of headphones and there’s no music around?” Sekome said. “It’s an experience anyone can enjoy. It’s super cool,” he said after sampling the music.
Vaccinated revelers get a discounted rate, Leya said.
With more than 2.9 million infections and 87,780 deaths, South Africa accounts for around 35% of mainland cases.
The government is trying to vaccinate as much as possible to gain the immunity of the population.