See photos, footage and reaction from Liverpool’s pilot club night for return to live events

This weekend will see the first clubbing experiences in over a year take place as part of the government's test scheme

Footage and photos of Liverpool’s COVID-19 pilot clubbing event has been shared online, showing what the return of live events could look like.

The two-day clubbing event – alongside a gig featuring the likes of Blossoms and Zuzu – won’t require attendees to socially distance, wear a face mask or have a vaccine passport to get into the venue.

Liverpool
The crowd at Liverpool’s COVID-19 pilot clubbing event CREDIT: Getty Images

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Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock Warehouse is playing host to 6,000 people across yesterday (April 30) and today (May 1). Fatboy Slim, The Blessed Madonna, Jayda G and more will perform at The First Dance.

The only requirement to attend is a negative lateral flow test produced the day before. People will then be asked to take a second test a few days later to help monitor the rate of infection from the nights.

Footage shared on Twitter shows clubbers dancing and mingling closely together, drinks in hand and no masks in sight from early in the afternoon. In clips taken later on in the night, the warehouse was packed with bodies with little space between them. See videos from the event below now.

Liverpool
Fans at The First Dance pilot clubnight event at the Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse on April 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.

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Reflecting on the “vital” pilot event, promoter Sam Newson said: “For the last 12 months, it has been a disaster. People have moved on, I’ve got colleagues who have lost houses, it has been incredibly hard and so to try and get this back up and running is incredibly important.

“I stood on stage early on and I had a little bit of a teary eye, I’m not going to lie, it is very emotional. Any event is special but with the amount of work that has gone into this and to be the first in the country in over 12 months, it is very special.”

Another attendee, 18-year-old Leah Lawless, told Metro: “We are very excited. It’s been hard, it’s been boring, a bit sad, depressing and not the best.”

Liverpool
Confetti is fired into the crowd as Nightclub Circus hosts the first dance event, which will welcome 6,000 clubbers to the city’s Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse on April 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.

On Sunday (May 2), Blossoms will headline another pilot event at Liverpool’s Sefton Park with the same minimal requirements for entry.

The gig is being organised by promoters Festival Republic. Boss Melvin Benn told NME that fans going to the “historic” show would be able to “behave as if the pandemic never happened”.

“This will be the first gig in the Northern hemisphere where it’s a proper show, with 5,000 people not socially distanced, not having to wear masks, with bars and food stalls in the arena, and it will feel like a mini version of a festival,” he said. “The punters will just be able to behave as though COVID had never happened.

Liverpool
People react on the dance floor as Nightclub Circus hosts the first dance event, which will welcome 6,000 clubbers to the city’s Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse on April 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.

“The whole world will be looking at it. You know how many gigs I’ve been involved in, but this is the most historic. I’m just so excited by it.”

Pilot events for larger venues might be in place to help ease the entertainment industry out of lockdown, but the Music Venue Trust has called on the government to test out how grassroots venues will return.

People make their way to the stage area as Nightclub Circus hosts the first dance event, which will welcome 6,000 clubbers to the city’s Bramley-Moore Dock warehouse on April 30, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Credit: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images.

“It isn’t at all clear how anything learned from these events will directly help us to open the Hull Adelphi, 100 Club London, Tunbridge Wells Forum, Bristol Exchange or any of the other 950 grassroots music venues across the country that want to Revive Live music and get audiences back in front of musicians in our communities,” the MVT’s Mark Davyd told NME.

He added: “It’s good news that we’ve got these pilots, but we have been writing to the government for weeks now to point out that the specifics of what we do at grassroots music venues are not actually being tested.”

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