With the coronavirus epidemic, the worlds of music and show are going low. It is hard to think that they could soon resume as normal with this health crisis… And yet, there is hope on the horizon. Is the solution quick antigenic tests?
This is what an experiment led in Barcelona tried to show. This Saturday March 27, 2021, 5,000 masked people - tested ahead of the show - were gathered to enjoy a rock test-concert. The goal, according to promoters? "Living with Covid and organizing totally safe concerts". With Love of Lesbian headlining, the clinical experiment took place at the Palau Sant Jordi stadium and results are expected within two weeks.
A successful experimentation
And results have been delivered this Tuesday April 27, namely one month after the show. According to these results revealed by the organizers this Tuesday April 27, "no sign" of contagion has been reported following the concert. In the detail, two weeks after the experiment, according to data provided by the public health system, "there has been no sign suggesting transmission occred during the event, which was the goal of this study", Germans Trias i Pujol hospital doctor Josep Maria Llibre explained. In all, still according to Llibre, only six Covid cases have been reported past the show. And according to the organizers, "for four of these six cases, transmission did not occur during the show [...] With optimized ventilation, antigenic tests, and facemask-wearing, we can guarantee a sure place", the doctor goes on.
In France, there results are very interesting: "Barcelona's test concert results give us hope, this is a very good thing", Syndicat des musiques actuelles manager Aurélie Hannedouche said, enthusiastically, to AFP. "These test concerts are crucial to build the future", Prodiss (French trade union for musical and variety show) head Malika Seguineau stated.
"Once again, Barcelona and the Barcelona culture are the trailblazer in a never-before-seen situation where we must save cultural activity with all the health guarantees", Barcelona deputy mayor Jaume Collboni said during a press brief, adding it is possible to "soften restrictions and combine it with cultural activities that should resume".
Barcelona, cradle of a previous test-show in December 2020
For the record, on Sunday December 20, the festive Spanish city already hosted Primacov’, a test-show curated by Primavera Sound festival in partnership with Barcelona Germans Trias hospital and the Fight AIDS and Infectious Disease Foundation. 1,042 participants were gathered on the occasion in one of the rooms of Nitsa Club, a Barcelona nightclub.
The event took place in the following conditions. At the entrance, each participant has been subjected to an antigenic test, these quick tests now available in French pharmacies. If it turned out negative, the participant was allowed to attend the show without having to comply with social distancing, even though facemask-wearing was still compulsory inside.
Primacov’ has been a success. This is great hope making concerts, nightclubs and overall showbusiness see the light at the end of the tunnel. “That was, precisely, the objective of this study: to validate these kind of tests as an extremely useful tool to be able to carry out any type of event, whether musical or not, without social distancing,” the team behind Primacov’ explained.
In France, experimentations are to be held as well to assess the effectiveness of the health protocol.
Covid: Paris test-concert to take place by late May at the Accor Arena
As concerts are at complete standstill since March 2020, many people are wondering when show venues will ultimately reopen. So far, no one knows, but hope has sparked thanks to test concerts. This experiment - called "Ambition Live Again" - has been given the green light from the authorities and will take place this May 29 at Paris Accor Arena. In an interview released this May 17, Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot stands up for the organization of this test concert in the French capital, explaining "Barcelona's is no longer valid". [Read more]