Live music returned to Liverpool in a music festival experiment to test the spread of COVID-19.
The city hosted a one-off music festival to help test whether large-scale events spread the virus. Around 5,000 people gathered together without face coverings or social distancing rules in place. You know, like any concert pre-2020. Attendees tested negative for COVID-19 at the time of admission and agreed to get tested again five days after the festival.
The UK government’s Events Research Programme will use the data to help understand how crowds impact the spread of the virus. Many of the attendees of the festival held in Sefton Park weren’t worried about the science behind the concert, though. “It just feels so good, so amazing; it’s been too long,” said one 19-year-old student.
Melvin Benn, the Managing Director of Festival Republic, says he hopes the pilot project will help get outdoor events back on track this year. “Once they get into the show they can party as though it’s 2019,” Benn says. “You can feel that the burden of the last 12 months, the last 15 months, has just been lifted a little.”
The line-up performing at the one-off music festival in Liverpool included local singer-songwriter Zuzu, indie group The Lathums, and headliners Blossoms. Blossoms lead singer Tom Odgen says headlining the pilot festival was an honor for him.
“It’s been 413 days since we were last on stage, it’s been a long time, and we’re delighted to be here,” he told attendees on stage. The event was still small-scale compared to multi-day events like Glastonbury. But it’s the first step to getting the UK on track to have music festivals again.
The music festival lasted less than six hours and included a 10 pm curfew. That’s definitely a more conservative approach to most music festivals, but it will be interesting to see the results. One gigantic motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota is suspected as being a super spreader event in the United States last year.
Motorcycle enthusiasts came from all over the United States for the week-long event that included live shows, a music festival, and plenty of opportunities for the coronavirus to spread among nearly 700,000 attendees.
Dr. Fauci has gone on record stating that large-scale events will be able to open back up once 70-80% of the population is vaccinated. Vaccination rates are slowing down in the United States, but so are infection rates.