July 1 saw the easing of lockdown restrictions on entertainment and nightlife across the Kingdom of Thailand with many clubs and bars reopening their doors. Borders remain closed to travellers so the prospect of international talent behind the decks is grim. Somehow, someway, RCE Agency has managed to make it happen, announcing that Fabric London resident Tommy Vercetti will be gracing the decks at Kudo Beach Club on Monday, July 13.
We were able to catch up with Muss, former head of entertainment at Illuzion/Shelter and co-founder of RCE Agency, for some more details on how they managed to make this happen given the current circumstances.
While lockdown measures due to COVID-19 were imposed nationwide, Phuket was especially hard hit due to its heavy reliance on tourism. Can you explain some of the differences between Phuket during the low season compared to now?
Low season is always a very slow time for business where people are just surviving so they can cash in during the peak season. The situation at the moment, however, we have never experienced. Currently, Phuket is like a normal non-tourist Island where only expats are attending parties and only recently Thai's from other regions are coming to enjoy the emptiness for vacation.
As event organizers what’s your plan going forward and do you see COVID-19 leaving permanent effects on event and nightlife business on the island?
Post lockdown things are definitely getting better. Phuket had a very strict time during curfew/lockdown and the authorities and governor and especially PATONG CITY authorities and representatives did all they could to keep the Island alive. We cannot thank them enough.
I am bringing to Phuket a few music projects which due to NDA I'm not able to tell you yet but definitely, the Island has something big coming up.
Bringing in an artist of Tommy’s calibre during the current travel restrictions is a feat in and of itself. Can you tell us how this was made possible?
We had a show in SHELTER in MARCH 2020 and that was the very last show for him and booking for me, Tommy got stranded in Pattaya and since we kept ourselves in touch I offered him to come to Phuket and play at TOMI & FRIENDS which he kindly accepted.
Any future plans you can let us in on for Phuket in 2020 or 2021?
2020 we are waiting for international travel bans to be lifted but Phuket will welcome a few big festivals for 2021, that's all I can say for now and hopefully, the venues will support promoters to bring artists in.
Tommy Vercetti plays at Kudo Beach Club on July 13. Find more info here.