On Wednesday, August 12th, Tunisia’s National Observatory for New and Emerging Diseases warned of a “critical” COVID-19 situation after a surge in infections neared the country’s pre-lockdown peak. The following day, Berlin DJ and producer Dixon performed at Calypso Club Hammamet less than an hour from the country’s capital of Tunis.
In footage shared by anonymous electronic music industry watchdog account Business Teshno, Dixon (real name Steffen Berkhahn) can be seen performing before a crowd of at least hundreds on August 13th with no visible masks. Only a day prior, Nissaf Ben Alia said that the nearby regions Kairouan and Sousse were among those experiencing significant outbreaks, reported Middle East Monitor. “We need to intensify prevention measures, such as wearing masks and respecting social distancing, to prevent the spread of the virus,” she told reporters.
August 13th 2020
Hammamet Sud (Tunisia) pic.twitter.com/8KK9mXOIhs
— Business Teshno (@businessteshno) August 25, 2020
Berkhahn’s gig follows those of other notable techno/house DJs who have performed in other parts of Tunisia. An festival that ran from August 6th-9th called Djerba Music Land billed the likes of Claptone, Sébastien Léger and Joachim Garraud, drawing 1,200-1,300 each day per Le Manager.
August 6th 2020
Djerba (Tunisia) pic.twitter.com/SezmJTL0EI
— Business Teshno (@businessteshno) August 8, 2020
Confirmed cases have continued to rise in Tunisia over the past two weeks, with daily confirmed case counts sometimes double those of the highest days in March and April. The country is currently sitting at just shy of 3,000 cases with 71 resulting deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
Other DJs have also elicited backlash for playing “plague raves” in countries where the coronavirus appeared to be seeing a resurgence. Amelie Lens performed to at least hundreds at a Possession event in France on August 2nd as daily confirmed cases broke the thousands. Officials in Italy and Spain reinstated event bans due to rising case counts after clubs in the former country hosted the likes of DJ Tennis, Michael Bibi and Patrick Topping.
Spokespeople on behalf of Dixon, Claptone, Sébastién Leger, Super Flu and Joachim Garraud have not responded to Selector‘s request for comment at the time of writing.