Experiment in Luxembourg could help “prepare for a return” to live music

Music fans will be in attendance across five different nights

The latest experiment to investigate the safe return of live music is set to take place in Luxembourg next month.

Five test concerts – with health measures and restrictions in place – are due to take place at the Rockhal arena, with organisers hoping it will pave the way for the full return of live music.

Organised by the lobby group Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), the shows will see a limited capacity of 100 fans per night with compulsory masks and strict social distancing enforced.

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The gigs will also be seated, with fans sitting around a central 360° stage. Attendees will also face Covid-19 tests before the event and seven days later.

Each night will host different music, including electro-house and metal.

ARA co-founder Robert Fitzpatrick, who is also chief executive of the Odyssey Trust which owns Belfast’s SSE Arena, told Sky News: “As the advocacy platform for European arenas, the ARA is proud to provide an opportunity for the industry to come together with key EU decision-makers to prepare for a return to live events, whilst working to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities and the sustainability of our industry, which will be central to the economic and societal recovery of countries across Europe.”

The latest trial comes after Primavera Sound recently hosted their own experiment and found no infection rate in a crowd that were not socially distancing.

The O2
The crowd at London’s O2 Arena (Picture: Ollie Millington/Redferns)

The event, which was held in Barcelona, saw 1,000 people attend an event in a 1,600-capacity venue. Dubbed PRIMACOV, it was organised by Primavera Sound alongside the Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundations.

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Of the 1,000 participants, 463 ended up attending the concert, with 496 placed in a ‘control group’, with no access to the venue.

All participants took 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, and two positives in the 496 in the ‘control group’.

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, while 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.

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”.

Last week saw the cancellation of Glastonbury for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

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