The UK government’s live events coronavirus research programme continues with a large three-day event with camping being organised, to assess how to deal with an outbreak at festivals.
A festival with 10,000 people camping is being organised for June, as part of continuing research into how to reopen live events safely as pandemic restrictions ease in the UK.
According to the Managing Director of live music organisers Festival Republic, the three-day festival will be a scientific study focusing on how to handle an outbreak of coronavirus at a festival.
Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn told IQ the plans are a follow-up to trials such as the audience at the BRIT Awards and the event in Liverpool that saw 5,000 music lovers gather at Sefton Park for a one-day festival. Those events were organised to lend confidence to the government’s planned roadmap of all live events resuming on 21 June. A larger scale event would present scientists with further data to analyse before the festival season kicks off.
Benn said: “The camping event, because it’s three or four days, will actually be about testing the protocol of how to deal with anyone that might have Covid at the event. It’s about testing the protocols around using Covid certification on the NHS app, and it’s also around testing the protocols of what the SAGE scientists here in the UK want, which is at-home testing for all attendees that don’t have the vaccination and that are not immune.”
Benn also reasoned that the UK government consider public transport as more of a worry for spreading the virus than live events themselves. It’s a fair thought – stringent safety measures will presumably be in place at venues, but movement of punters before and after the events is something far harder to keep under control.
The fate of festivals in the UK this summer are still very much up in the air – many organisers are waiting on confirmation of insurance cover as reassurance that full-scale planning can commence. Whilst festivals like Glastonbury and Boomtown have cancelled, events like the Reading and Leeds, Truck and Wireless festivals are due to go ahead and have revealed their lineups.