For those desperate to get back to normality in the world of live music, hope may not be far away. A study was recently done in Barcelona to test if certain safety measures would enable people to attend events without increased risk of contracting COVID-19. Though such risk factors will always be present in the time of pandemic, the results of the study are encouraging for the future of the music industry.
The study began with 1,000 volunteers, of which 500 were allowed to attend a five-hour concert on December 12. The other 500 formed the control group and were sent home instead of attending the event. Ultimately, 463 people attended the concert and 496 were in the control group.
The concertgoers passed an antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 on the day of the study as well as two, more accurate, PCR tests: one on the Saturday before the concert and then another after eight days.
Participants were required to use hand disinfectant and wear FFP2 face masks for the entirety of the event, except to drink beverages. In order to simulate an actual concert experience, the volunteers were not required to adhere to social distancing policies and even danced closely together throughout the time.
When the experiment was completed, none of the concert attendees were found to be contaminated with the coronavirus, while two members of the control group had been infected. The study, put together by Barcelona’s The Fight AIDS and Infectious Diseases Foundation and funded by Primavera Sound music festival, is a source of hope for artists and listeners who are anxious to get back to live interactions.
Photo credit: Stephen Hoffmeister