Primavera Sound, the music festival based in Barcelona, held a recent trial which brought around the return of live concerts with no social distancing and found that none of the attendees contracted coronavirus.
The Spanish festival held the event last month and the music industry’s eyes have been waiting to see if it was a success. Thankfully, Primavera has now labelled it as an unequivocal triumph, after 1,000 people attend an event in a 1,600 capacity venue. Primavera Side organised the event alongside the Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundations, the night was appropriately labelled PRIMACOV.
Of the 1,000 participants in the trial, only 463 ended up attending the concert, and 496 people found themselves in a ‘control group’, which left them with no access to the venue. All participants then a same-day antigen COVID-19 test, and after everyone returned eight days later for a follow-up test, there were no positive results among the 463 people who attended the gig. However, there were two positives in the 496 in the ‘control group’.
“Attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections,” the authors of the study said in a statement. “Hopefully this data will pave the way to save live concerts during the COVID pandemic,” they added.
Meanwhile, Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic and boss of events including Reading & Leeds and Download Festival was full of optimism about the chances of events returning, telling NME: “I feel very positive because I know that it’s possible. You’re monitoring everything every hour, if not every minute, so I was very confident about the early summer before Christmas – but the new strain is spreading quicker, so that knocks your confidence a little bit,” said Benn.
“However, the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine picks your confidence back up again. I suppose I’m taking Matt Hancock and the Prime Minister’s word.
“The Prime Minister has said that 88% of hospitalisations and deaths will disappear once the over-70s and frontline workers are vaccinated. The Health Secretary said: ‘When that’s done, cry freedom’ – I’m crying freedom. At that point, I’m saying let’s get on with it.”
Benn then added: “I’m super confident about the end of the summer, I’m super confident about the beginning of the summer. If everyone over the age of 60, or definitely the age of 50, is vaccinated by the end of May, then Jesus – there should be no stopping us.”