Covid: Paris test-concert given the green light from the authorities

Published by Caroline J. · Published on 12 May 2021 at 10h12 · Updated on 12 May 2021 at 16h33
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 April 27, Le Parisien newspaper reveals the test concert scheduled at Paris Accor Arena might gather 5,000 people on May 29. This May 11, Roselyne Bachelot confirmed this experiment - called "Ambition Live Again" - has been given the green light from the authorities.

Scientists have been working really hard since the health crisis broke out to come up with effective treatments and vaccines against Covid-19. Others are carrying out different experimentations to assess the contamination risk in show and concert venues. This is what has been planned this spring in France. Invited on BFMTV this April 23, Roselyne Bachelot announced the first test concert scheduled at Paris Accor Arena might take place "within two weeks."

This April 27, ours peers from Le Parisien reveal this famous Accor Arena test concert might take place on May 29, 2021. At least, promoters of this giant experimentation - namely Prodiss and Paris AP-HP - are getting ready for this date.

"We have found fundings for the show and only wait for those for the scientific part via ministers", Prodiss member and part of the event organizing team Marie Sabot said. "Green light is only a matter of days, I hope, since the government made it a national priority", she added in the daily.

Since then, we have been told the authorities gave their green light. The "'Ambition Live Again' experiment projet supported by Prodiss for months has bene approved, as Minister for Culture Roselyne Bachelot announced to the members of the National Council of Show Professions (CNPS)" gathered this May 11, Prodiss told AFP.

"This is a project carrying hope for a sector that needs it, as they have been on a standstill for now 14 months (...) Today, the September's resuming is starting", Prodiss added in a release.

This is good news then for all people who were losing hope to see test concerts held in France. Lately, the government even decided to declare this event a national priority. An event likely to gather 5,000 people. As for the health protocol, the audience will be tested ahead of the show and will have to show negative test. They will be masked and attend the show in a standing configuration, as 2,500 other people will stay home.

As for the lineup, Indochine have been confirmed as the headline for this test concert.

This February 15, 2021, invited on LCI, Roselyne Bachelot announced test concerts are to be held in cities of Marseille and Paris in March and April 2021. “We’re working on it. I’m very optimistic for seated festival, fingers crossed, but I take all the precautions in the world” the Minister of Culture explains. Yet, the health situation deteriorated in France, always postponing these experimentations. After several delays, May 29 seems to be right for this test concert in Paris.

And what about the test concerts held by the INSERM at Marseille Dôme? According to the latest news, 1,000 people are expected and will have to be seated “but allowed to stand up”. IAM already revealed the band will be headlining one of the shows in Marseille. As for the protocol instated, masked participants will be tested prior to the concert and positive cases “will not be filtered because we have to put ourselves in the situation of a mixBachelot said. And then, new tests will be performed after the concert. Yet, no one knows the new date for these experimentations in Marseille.

After both test concerts, a big European scientific symposium is to be held in Marseille on April 8 where “the different experimentations will be compared”.

For the record, other countries have already carried out such experimentations. This is the case of Spain, in mid-December 2020. The idea was to hold a “test concert” in Barcelona with a very strict health protocol and test participants a few days later in order to find out if a cluster broke out during the show. Outcome? Eight days after the event, no volunteer tested positive for Coronavirus. This is what Spanish daily El Mundo stated.

In concrete words, during this test – held by famous Spanish festival Primavera Sound – strict measures have been instated on site in order to prevent likely contamination. Therefore, the test included 1,047 people. 463 of them went to a show held in a 900-seat venue, and the 496 others did not. Prior to the event, volunteers taking part in the show had to take a Covid-19 screen test. Once on site, FFP2 mask-wearing was compulsory. Other measures? The room was aired as well as possible and the room temperature was thoroughly monitored.

Following this experimentation, scientists noticed that the 463 in the arena tested negative for Covid-19. Yet, in the other 496, two of them tested positive. What did the instigators conclude on the experimentation? If strict health protocol is instated and complied with, there is not a lot more contamination risks during an event with a lot of people.

This Tuesday April 27, another good news made live music fans happy. After hosting a test show in Barcelona, none of the 5,000 spectators has been infected. The latter attended a show, masked, standing, and without social distancing.

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