5,000 people attend COVID-19 experiment gig in Barcelona

Organisers say it's the largest gig in Europe since the pandemic began

Five thousand people attended a concert in Barcelona last night (March 27) as part of a COVID-19 experiment.

The show, which saw Spanish rock band Love of Lesbian playing at the Palau Sant Jordi arena, is said to be the biggest concert in Europe since the pandemic began last year.

All attendees at the gig, which went ahead with the permission of health authorities in Spain, were tested ahead of the gig at three locations across Barcelona, with three of the first 2,400 people tested coming back with positive results and not attending the evening’s show.

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The antigen test results were reported back to the attendees within 10 to 15 minutes via an app on their phones, and the ticket price of around $23 (ÂŁ20) came with a rapid test and mask included.

Last night’s experiment is one of multiple test events having taken place over the last six months, looking at the possibility of holding live music events with no social distancing if rapid testing is employed.

Back in December, Barcelona festival Primavera Sound hailed a successful trial event which saw 1,000 people attend an event in a 1,600 capacity venue. When the results came back in January, they found no infection rate.

Elsewhere, recent tests conducted in Germany into the transmission of coronavirus at indoor concerts found that the environment poses a “low-to-very low” risk to attendees of contracting the disease. Another found that the risk of infecting someone in a venue through aerosol transmission “can be almost ruled out,” providing that the venue has a sufficient fresh-air supply and that all attendees are wearing face masks.

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London’s legendary 100 Club is also set to pilot a new ventilation system that aims to wipe out 99.99% of dangerous airborne pathogens, such as coronavirus, within buildings.

The aim of the trial is “to prove that the integration of this new system into a building’s air conditioning creates an indoor environment that is COVID-secure, allowing audience numbers to return to a pre-pandemic normal for Britain’s 1,100 theatres and thousands of live music venues”.

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