As the pandemic is fading in most parts of the world, UK organised its first ‘absolutely normal’ concert on Sunday since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 5,000 music lovers packed in a small space, no masks and no social distancing, isn’t this like a dream come true. Of course, I know that this is no new to the world, the pandemic has not only made us crave for the lifestyle we all use to live but has also made us question whether we will be able to go back to normal again?

The UK in its efforts to move back to normal organised a concert in Liverpool with around 5,000 people who all agreed to act as guinea pigs for scientists who are trying to study the safety of mass events. The concert was organised as part of the government’s Event Research Programme so that the results could help the government plan out the safety measures that need to be taken to get big crowds back this summer in the country.

Government’s official trial event:

This mini-festival was organised in Liverpool’s Sefton Park as one of the government’s official trial events to research how large gatherings can safely take place again. A negative COVID test was a necessary condition in order to allow entry. Apart from this, the concert-goers were asked to take a PCR test on the day of the show and to do so again five days later on Friday as a safety measure in order to know whether there was any spread of the virus during the concert.

In addition to this, the researchers also tried to study various factors apart from the spread of the virus like audience movement and interaction, ventilation, duration, catering and alcohol consumption.

Crowd gathered to enjoy the live concert.
People enjoying with friends and family at Sefton Park on May 2, 2021 in Liverpool, England.

Stockport guitar band ‘Blossoms’ were headlining the show and this trial concert organised by the government as its research programme was even Blossoms first gig after March 15, 2020.

Spain held a similar concert with a masked crowd:

Spain hosted an indoor trial concert in Barcelona with a crowd of 5,000 people but unlike the concert that happened in Liverpool, everybody was asked to wear their masks properly. The crowd was tested before the concert, and then every person who attended the concert was again tested after 15 days of the concert. When the results of the tests arrived, it was found that only six people tested COVID positive among the crowd of 5,000 people.

The concert that took place in Barcelona was Europe’s biggest indoor rock concert since the pandemic took over the world and featured top bands and rockers. Also, it’s important to note that not even a single person who attended the concert was vaccinated against the virus but everybody was advised to wear FPP2 surgical masks.

Why trial concerts are taking place?

One of the biggest reasons behind conducting trial concerts is to understand and study how exactly large gatherings can take place effectively and safely. Also, these trial concerts are being considered as one of the ways through which live music can again become part of our lives and people can again enjoy listening to their favourite artists live on stage.