No rise in infection from Barcelona concert without social distancing

Image Credit: Reuters

5,000 person indoor Barcelona gig with rapid tests and masks but no social distancing saw no rise in coronavirus infection rate, according to officials.

Remember last month’s gig in Barcelona, which experimented with 5,000 concert-goers wearing masks but not social distancing? The trial has now been hailed a success, after results showed no sign of a rise in infection rate.

Safety measures at the Love of Lesbian indie-rock concert saw attendees taking a rapid test beforehand, and upon receiving a negative result being allowed to enter the Palau Sant Jordi arena. FFP2 masks were required, with improved ventilation and queueing measures for the toilets and bar, but once in the crowd there was no requirement to social distance. The photos are almost like a normal gig – save for the white masks.

The results of the experiment seem to show that mass concerts can be safe – if covid-safe measures are taken to reduce the risk of transmission. From the 4,592 attendees who consented to analysis, only six positive coronavirus results were detected. Crucially, four of those six were not infected at the gig, and the other two unconfirmed.

After 14 days results “did not suggest any impact on the transmission of covid during the concert,” and the positive incidence was lower than in the general population.

Researcher Josep Maria Llibre of the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital said: “In summary, a live music concert in a covered enclosure with the correct measures and ventilation is a safe activity.”

The gig was reported to be the largest European concert since the pandemic began. Who would’ve thought we’d be in a world where 5,000 people watching a gig would seem an incredible event. Measures like rapid testing, venue ventilation and mask-wearing appear to be key to letting gigs resume with some semblance of normality.

I write about music for RouteNote, sharing fun stuff, news, and tips and tricks for musicians and producers. Also a saxophonist and hater of marmalade.

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