Luxembourg Live Music Experiment Could Pave The Way For The Return To Live Events

Image credit: Nainoa Shizuru

The Because Music Matters shows will take place at the Rockhal arena in February, social distancing and masks will be compulsory.

The Rockhal arena in Luxembourg will host five test concerts with strict health measures and restrictions in place this February. 

With live events cancelled across the world, due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, this news provides some possible light at the end of the tunnel. Some artists have come up with innovative ways to perform to fans, such as the Flaming Lips’ space bubble shows. Not to mention the wave of live streams during the first lockdown. Bandcamp also launched their own ticketed livestream service Bandcamp Live. However, venues remain closed and many are currently fighting for their survival. 

It is hoped the Because Music Matters Matters shows in Luxembourg, organised by the Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA), a lobby group established by the European Arenas Association, could help create a model to bring live events back. 

Capacity is to be limited to 100 people per night, with masks compulsory and strict social distancing being enforced. The gigs will be seated, with fans placed around a stage. Those attending will also be tested for Covid-19 on arrival and then again seven days later, much like at PRIMACOV, the event held by Primavera Sound in Spain. 

Each night will have different genres of music, including classical, dance music and metal. 

Speaking on the shows chief executive of Rockhal and co-founder of the ARA said the shows are an “important step forward in testing the safety measures we can employ to support our back-to-business strategies”. 

Fellow ARA co-founder Robert Fitzpatrick added that “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.” He continues, “Together, we can build regional and national frameworks, with international collaboration that will help us get back to business.”

The shows will take place from the 10th-14th February and will be hosted in conjunction with the national health inspection authority. 

In addition to this the ARA will also be hosting a virtual conference on 18th February which will look into how arenas and large venues across the EU will prepare for a safe and sustainable reopening. 

Even with all this in place though, it still remains to be seen if people, even after being starved of live music will be willing to participate in the strict measures to see a show. It also doesn’t take in to consideration that outside of a scientific environment controlling people will be difficult. However, this is the beginning of getting at least some form of live music back into our lives during this strange time. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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