Concert organiser charged over packed, maskless audience

Concert organiser charged over packed, maskless audience

Fans pack the Red Cross Fair concert in Cha-uat district of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Saturday. (Photo from Janey Daimodthasodchuen via @littlehogweed Tweeter account)
Fans pack the Red Cross Fair concert in Cha-uat district of Nakhon Si Thammarat on Saturday. (Photo from Janey Daimodthasodchuen via @littlehogweed Tweeter account)

NAKHON SI THAMMARAT: The organiser of a luk-thung concert at a charity fair has been charged after photos posted on social media showed a packed-out venue with most people not wearing a mask, in breach of coronavirus control measures.

Cha-uat district police chief Pol Col Thien Barnthip said on Friday Paisant Vettayayong was charged  with violating the emergency decree by failing to apply social distancing principles and enforce wearing of masks by concert-goers.

Mr Paisant organised the Janey Daimodthasodchuen concert at the Red Cross Fair in Cha-uat district on Saturday night.

Photos from the concert widely circulated on social media showed a dense crowd of concert-goers not wearing masks.

The pictures stirred public anger. Authorities had kept a close watch on people protesting against the government, but turned a blind eye to the concert gathering.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has demanded answers from the provincial governor.

Government officials have repeatedly reminded the public not to lower their guard against Covid-19 and keep public distancing, as more businesses are allowed to open.

The emergency decree bans big gatherings as a threat to national security. Violators are liable to up to two years in prison and/or a fine of 40,000 baht.

Mr Paisant confessed to the offence and was indicted, Pol Col Thien said.

Janey, in real life Ratchanok Suwannaket, and her sister Lilly are very popular luk thung singers and are based in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Their best-known song, "I Stopping Talking to Others in the District for You", has almost 350 million views on YouTube.

The song was written by Janey, and Lilly, or Nareerat Chuealaem, is the vocalist.

Daimodthasodchuen is also the name of the music company set up by Janey.

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