GUNS N' ROSES performed at Mexico City's massive annual music festival Vive Latino Saturday night (March 14) despite thousands of people calling for the event to be canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
At least a dozen of other artists had pulled out of the festival by Saturday morning, but the Axl Rose-fronted outfit went ahead with its scheduled appearance by playing a 22-song set that included the band's first performance of "So Fine" since 1993.
Vive Latino founder and director Jordi Puig justified his decision to move forward with the festival, telling Billboard: "Authorities are telling us that we are in Phase 1 [of the coronavirus epidemic] and we can move forward and that's what we're doing." Vive Latino is produced by Ocesa, which was acquired late last year by Live Nation. Live Nation announced a few days ago it was suspending all of its tours through at least the end of March.
Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum also defended the choice to not shut down Vive Latino, explaining that the only massive activities that would be suspended were those that "have no economic impact."
"Vive Latino will take place this weekend and some other activities, that were planned, that don't have economic impact, those will be postponed," Sheinbaum said. "Why is Vive Latino continuing? Because we're still in Phase 1. So suspending mass events is not necessary. However, activities that have no impact, it's better to postpone those."
According to the Associated Press, each person attending Vive Latino was checked for fever and a strong smell of antibacterial gel permeated in the air at the entrance.
Organizers said more than 70,000 tickets had been sold for each of the festival's two days.
GUNS N' ROSES' appearance at Vive Latino took place just one day after health officials in Mexico said they were considering border restrictions for Americans looking to enter their country.
Mexico so far has confirmed 26 cases of the coronavirus, with no deaths. In the United States, 58 people have died.
Earlier in the month, President Donald Trump said that coronavirus bolsters his argument for building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.