Primavera Sound’s Trail For Gigs With No Social Distancing Finds No Infection Rate

Image credit: Kieran Webber (Leopallooza Festival)

As UK festivals face uncertainty the Barcelona festival hailed a successful trail event.

It’s almost hard to imagine going to a gig, let alone a festival during the current climate here in the UK. However, recently the Spanish festival held a trail for the return of gigs and festivals with no social distancing, which saw no infection rate. This data and experiment offers a little hope to those eager to experience live music again. 

The event dubbed PRIMACOV, was organised by Primavera Sound alongside the Hospital Germans Trias in Barcelona. The trail saw 1,000 people attend an event in a 1,600 capacity venue, however, of the 1,000 participants only 463 ended up attending the concert, with 496 in a ‘control group’, with no access to the venue itself. 

All participants took a same-day antigen Covid-19 test then another test 8 days after the event. The results show that there was no positive results among the 463 people who attended the gig, and two positives in the ‘control group’. 

The authors of the study revealed that “Attending a live music concert staged with a series of security measures that included a negative antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 done on the same day, was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 infections.” Adding “Hopefully this data will pave the way to save live concerts during the COVID pandemic.”

Check out the video of our time at Boomtown Festival here:

The two authors Boris Revello and Josep M Llibre concluded that rapid testing that was present at this event could easily be rolled out at other live music events as well. 

This isn’t the only test that has been undertaken to hopefully get live music industry working again. In Germany they conducted tests into the transmission of coronavirus at indoor concerts, their findings found that such environments pose a “low-to-very low” risk to attendees. Another study found that the risk of infection at a venue “through aerosol transmission can almost be ruled out”, providing that the venue has sufficient fresh-air supply and that attendees abide by a strict mask policy. 

Hopefully, these studies and the data from it can help the UK get some form of live music in place for the summer, or at the very least the autumn of 2021. However, with festivals like Glastonbury cancelling and no insurance in place to help events if they have to cancel due to covid, it’s hard to imagine. 

Music journalist and photojournalist based in Cornwall.

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