16th June 2021
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Barcelona Pilot Concert Shows Promising Results

Barcelona Pilot Concert Shows Promising Results
By Michelle Sciarrotta

Following a pioneering concert that took place in Barcelona on 27th March, the data of the audience members who attended is looking to be highly successful.

The data

The concert involved 5,000 audience members in a ‘normal’ capacity with no social distancing as part of the experiment, although masks were required. All attendees had tested negative for Covid prior to the event, and had to take a test on the day.

Tests taken 14 days following have now proven very successful numbers: only six people out of the 5,000 have tested positive, which is lower than the rate in the general population. This is indeed a beacon of hope, and very welcome news the world has been waiting for.

Other experiments

Although the Barcelona concert has been the biggest Covid experiment in Europe to date, others have been following suit – Liverpool in the UK has had two government-led events to trial safety measures and approximate what the coming months might look like. One outdoor gig in Liverpool’s Sefton Park took place at the start of May, while another government organised ‘rave’ also took place in a Liverpool warehouse the same weekend.

The ‘rave’ saw 3,000 party-goers attend a ‘normal’ nightclub experience at Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse, with no masks or social distancing measures at the event. Speaking to the BBC, Matt Ashton, Liverpool’s director of public health explained that the two events were crucial for the local economy. He said:

“In Liverpool, it’s over 40% of our economic output. So it’s really important we start to get the economy opening again.”

In a similar process with the Barcelona’s protocol, any who attended the events and have a positive test result in the five days following the outing will need to share the update with the contact tracers and take measures to isolate.

What this means for entertainment

So far, the results are looking extremely hopeful on both counts with social distancing measures and masks and without. It’s certainly looking as though entertainment may be able to commence plans to reopen over the summer months in the UK and Europe, with several festivals scheduled.

Liverpool’s experiments have been run by The Events Research Programme, which aims to examine the risk of transmission of Covid-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely.

The government website explains:

“The ERP is running its first phase of 10-15 pilots in April and May to inform decisions on the safe removal of social distancing from Step 4 of the roadmap. The pilots will be run across a range of settings, venue types, and activity types so that findings could support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors. A Joint Programme Board will work across government to inform policy development on reopening sectors ahead of Step 4 of the roadmap.

 Findings will be reported to the Prime Minister to feed into wider discussions around Step 4 of the lockdown restrictions.

We will ensure that the results gathered from research programmes are fed into policy development swiftly to ensure data is used to inform decisions around further reopening.

 Attendees will be asked to take a PCR test within five days of attending an event. If they test positive they will be required to self-isolate in accordance with existing government guidance.”

While the results are not conclusive just yet, the initial findings from the Barcelona concert certainly provide hope for the experiments that follow.

Also by Michelle Sciarrotta:

Accessibility At The Smith Center Series: Part One

James “Fitz” FitzSimmons Interview: The Boys In The Band On Netflix

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