Researchers find “no sign” of increased coronavirus infections after Spain test gig

A similar test show takes place in Liverpool this weekend

A concert in Spain attended by 5,000 people has led to no sign of increased coronavirus infections, according to researchers.

The crowd for the gig wore masks and had all tested negative for coronavirus prior to the concert, but did not have to socially distance.

Researchers found that only six fans tested positive within two weeks following the show, which is less than the average transmission rate of the general Spanish population. Four of those people were deemed to have caught the virus somewhere other than the gig.


“There is no sign that suggests transmission took place during the event,” infectious disease specialist Josep Maria Llibre said at a news conference today (April 27).

The show at the Palau Sant Jordi arena in Barcelona was headlined by Spanish indie outfit Love Of Lesbian, you can see footage below.

“We hope that from now on, after these excellent results, the world of culture will be listened to as it deserves to be,” Love Of Lesbian tweeted after the gig.

A similar test event will take place in the UK this Sunday (May 2), with Blossoms, The Lathums and Zuzu set to play to 5,000 fans in Sefton Park, Liverpool which normally holds 7,500 gig-goers.

Attendees will have to take a lateral flow COVID-19 test at a local testing centre prior to being granted entry, as well as another test after the show. During the show, they will not be asked to wear masks or practice social distancing.


Fans had to take a Covid test on their way into the Barcelona show CREDIT: Xavi Torrent/Getty Images

The gig, dubbed Sefton Park Pilot, comes as part of a host of government-organised pilot events in the lead up to England gradually exiting lockdown by the end of June.

The pilot is being organised by Melvin Benn, who also runs Reading & Leeds festival among others. Speaking to NME he said that this would be an “incredibly historic gig” and play an essential role in reopening live music this summer.

“There was an attempt at a pilot gig in Germany before Christmas, the Spanish one where everyone had to behave and wear masks, and there was some degree of limitation on what the audiences could and couldn’t do,” Benn said.

“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. The punters will just be able to behave as though COVID had never happened.

“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.”

He added: “After that, you can take your mask off and pretend that COVID never happened. Just sing, dance, mosh, have a laugh, enjoy the bands and have the most historic night that you’ll ever be involved in.”